Do charters accept too few students with special needs?

06/12/2009 | Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)

The lack of students with special needs at some California charter schools -- especially at a high-achieving network in Oakland -- skews their test data and their claims of success, writes Ralph Shaffer, a professor emeritus of history at California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, in a point-counterpoint op-ed. Writing from the opposing stance, Lisa Snell, a foundation's director of education and child welfare, argues that the lower rates of students with special needs and other disadvantages is emblematic of the natural variance among all schools and that charter schools do help those students.

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