Here’s a piece that caught my attention.

I’m especially interested in the numbers cited.

After 25 years of movement, passion, and effort, we now educate some 3 million students in charter schools. Whether these schools are good or bad or great or so-so, that is around 5-6% of students. How does this “movement” ever scale to meet the needs of all students—some 50 million? As a passionate supporter of public education— the necessary backbone for our nation—I find this question concerning.

Some comparisons.

We educate around the same percentage (5-6%) of students who are called “gifted and talented.” Where are the movement, passion, and efforts to improve their long-bypassed education opportunities?

And, in my area of concern–special education. We educate far more than either of the above groups–some 13-14% of all students (about 6 and a half million!) under that system. Where are the passion, commitment, and movement to finally reform that system—considered broken by many of us?

In short, with all the attention given to charter schools, let us honestly ask: can they ever scale for the millions of students cited in this piece? If not, why not work to fix other areas of our public school system—two of which are cited here—that need a passionate and robust movement?

Or will we simply leave many children behind–or seeking their way out of their schools? Or –do you have other questions?

About Miriam

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA—an expert in public education, focused on special education law— is a lawyer, author, speaker, consultant, and reformer. For more than 35 years, Miriam worked with educators, parents, policy makers, and citizens to translate complex legalese into plain English and focus on good practices for children. Now, she focuses her passion on reforming special education, with her new book, Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law. Presentations include those at the AASA Conference, Orange County (CA), Boston College (MA), CADRE (OR), and the Fordham Institute (DC). Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, Education Next, Hoover Digest, The University of Chicago Law Review on line,, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.

No Comments

Be the first to start a conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *