I once made a New Year’s resolution to eat pizza only once a month and to jog out in the cold late in the evenings 3 days per week, despite the winter weather in New Jersey. Neither got much traction. This year, my New Year’s resolution is to post regular blog entries on this site. This is the first one – so I am already doing better than I did with my jogging plan.
We launched the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools this past Fall, and it started with a bang. Many organizations, media outlets and individuals responded enthusiastically to news of our existence and mission, and since then there has been consistent interest in our work. We very much appreciate that support – in 20 years of charter schools, there has never been a national organization devoted to tackling the policy and practical issues impacting the ability of charter schools to do an excellent job of serving the needs of kids with disabilities. So we are convinced this is crucial work. But since most special education organizations and funders have to date focused only on traditional public schools, and most charter organizations and funders have focused only on charters and choice, the gap between the sectors is wide and bridging them will be challenging. It will take time, ongoing support from both communities and an openness to collaboration and compromise. So, to summarize: Terrific start, important work, need help if we are going to have the impact that kids with disabilities need and deserve.