Blockbuster: ACLU Sues Delaware for Segregated Charter Schools

Thank you Diane for posting this. If anyone reads the brief, this is not only about minorities. It is also enrollment preference that shuns students with disabilities. The state average for children with special needs is about 13.5%. Many of the charters in Delaware have very low special needs populations. The highest performing school in the state, Charter School of Wilmington has a .2% population of students with IEPs. As a writer of a blog on special education in Delaware, I get emails all the time from parents who have children in DE charters who are denied IEPs and special education rights. All too often these students are either “counseled out”, expelled, or the parents pull them out of the charters. The child then attends the local district school, but the funds for that school year tend to stay at the charter school depending on if it happened after September 30th (when student enrollment is determined for each school in DE). The state of DE is actually in the process of closing one of the two special needs charters in the state because of low standardized test scores from a test they don’t even use anymore. The charters have many special education lawsuits which even helped contribute to one charter school in Delaware a couple years ago. In some cases, students with disabilities who are also a minority and low-income are victims of a twisted triple segregation as a result of these tactics. And yet our unelected State Board of Education is well aware of what is going on and does nothing to address this. The biggest comments coming out of our DOE in the state’s IEP Task Force is fighting against having parents get an advanced copy of an IEP draft and praising standards-based IEPs claiming they are not about Common Core. This is just as big a sin as the discrimination against minorities in our state. The director of the Delaware Charter Schools Network, Kendall Massett, actually responded to this complaint by stating ““These complaints are not new to any state that has a charter school law. These allegations, myths – we actually call them myths – are actually talked about all over the United States,” – See more at: http://www.wdde.org/70472-aclu-delaware-files-federal-complaint-state-charter-schools#sthash.QREgRuky.dpuf
The only myth I see is the education reform common core standardized test environment that has become the obsession of our Governor Markell, the Delaware DOE, and a very shady non-profit organization called Rodel that funds Teach For America, Relay Graduate School, Innovative Schools and so on. This is a tipping point for Delaware charters. I am very glad this complaint was issued and that the state is finally being held accountable for allowing these things to happen.

Diane Ravitch's blog

It is clear that the issue of desegregation has fallen off the agenda of the nation and the U.S. Department of Education. Not even DOE’s Office of Civil Rights has shown much interest in the resegregation of our narion’s schools

However, the ACLU still remembers the Brown decision and the numerous federal court orders banning segregated schools.

The ACLU just sued the state of Delaware for permitting segregated charter schools. See the court filing here and the exhibits here.

“As detailed in Part IV of this complaint, Delaware’s expansion of charter schools has led to segregated charter schools for students of color, students from low income families, and students with disabilities. Specifically, more than three-quarters of the state’s charter schools are racially identifiable.11 High-performing charter schools are almost entirely racially identifiable as White. In addition, low income students and students with disabilities (to the extent that students with disabilities…

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Kevin Ohlandt

I am a proud parent of a son with Tourette's Syndrome and several other co-morbidities. I write on this blog to educate other parents so they know a bit more about not only special education, but all the really bad things that are happening with public schools in Delaware and the USA. We are all in this together, and if our children aren't able to advocate for themselves it's up to us parents! We need to stop letting companies run our schools, and demand our children get a proper education. Our Departments of Education in our states have become weak with fear from the bullying US DOE, and we need to take back our schools!

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