Happy New Year!
As we prepare for the urgent work of 2020, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the highlights and accomplishments of the last year. It was a year of significant growth for the Center, with new initiatives at the programmatic and policy levels, new staff, and renewed energy for our mission of ensuring that students with disabilities are able to fully access and thrive in charter schools.
We could not do this vital work without our partners and allies. Thank you for your support, and stay tuned for ways to get involved this year!
In 2019 we continued to focus efforts in our four key areas of work:
Documenting and Communicating Vital Facts
Highlights of the Center’s efforts to document and communicate vital facts include:
- Joint report with CRPE: Seizing the Opportunity: Educating Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools
- Student Discipline Best Practices
- A “can-do” Attitude for Students with Disabilities: Special Education in Rural Charter Schools
In 2019 we significantly expanded our efforts to inform policy. With Wendy Tucker and Simone Hall on board, the Center met with policymakers and advocates across the country and supported legislative efforts including charter school special education oversight language in Congress’s education appropriations report.
The policy team ended 2019 on a high note by presenting the Center’s findings from the 2015-2016 CRDC to the Department of Education and the House Education Committee.
Read more about our efforts.
Highlights of our coalition-building work included:
- Hosting two collaborative and impactful Equity Coalition meetings with representatives from 38 member organizations
- Convening 53 participants representing 20 CMOs at the fourth annual gathering of the CMO Special Education Network, and held two additional virtual meetings
- Creating the Network of Infrastructure and Collaborative Entities Initiative (NICE Initiative) to provide targeted capacity development and foster collaboration between school support infrastructures
- Invited to join Policy Innovators in Education (PIE) Network
Building Capacity for Excellence in the Field
Highlights of our capacity-building work included:
- Visiting schools in partnership with the Center for Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) to complete research for joint project Seizing the Opportunity: Educating Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools
- Partnering with and advising local stakeholders in California, Connecticut, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Washington, and Washington, DC
- Launching a parent survey in Kansas City and New Jersey, with over 150 qualified responses thus far
2019 was a year of growth for the center. In particular, we celebrated:
Establishing the Eileen M. Ahearn Education Visionary Award
Celebrating the Center’s Receipt of the 2019 NASDE Martha J. Fields Award for Excellence
Launching a new website featuring accessibility app and an expanded resource library