Our New Name: The Center for Learner Equity
Reflecting our expanded vision
America’s public schools are far too comfortable watching students with disabilities fail.
Since we founded the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools in 2013, the uncomfortable truth of systemic ableism in our schools has become more and more apparent. As the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 have demonstrated, students with disabilities are often treated as an afterthought, both within the charter sector and beyond it.
We’ve changed our name to broaden the conversation.
Our new name, the Center for Learner Equity, reflects our core belief that when public schools design for inclusivity and equity from the start, all students benefit.
When we founded the Center in 2013, our goal was to address the unique challenges charter schools encounter in educating students with disabilities. While work remains in the charter sector, the lessons we have learned over the last seven years are driving us to expand our mission to more explicitly include all public schools in districts with school choice. Charter schools do not operate in a vacuum, but rather are part of the larger public education ecosystem.
We believe that efforts to improve educational opportunities for students with disabilities in charter schools are best tackled through coordinated efforts with traditional public schools. Our name change is part of this broader reality, reflecting our commitment to proactively ensuring that students with disabilities have equal access to rigorous educational opportunities in all public schools and catalyzing efforts to foster innovation that leads to equitable outcomes.
COVID-19 has disrupted the status quo, and we must seize this opportunity to reinvent how we educate students with disabilities. As the Center for Learner Equity, we’ll work toward a future in which schools are designed for the margins from the start. We’ll do so alongside our partners in the education reform and disability advocacy communities, all while continuing to provide expert guidance to policymakers, education leaders, and advocates that bridges the gap between theory and practice.
We hope you’ll join us in celebrating our new name and reimagining public education for all students.
Lauren Morando Rhim
Co-founder and Executive Director
Co-founder and Senior Fellow