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Charter, Private, and Alternative Schools

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Articles Related to Charter, Alternative & Private Schools

News About Vouchers

Michigan Charter Schools & Information

Private Schools & Information

Alternative Schools & Information

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This website lets you find free, detailed profiles of private schools and their surrounding communities. Use the tables to browse schools in each state. You can also use the different forms to find nearby private schools, or housing data about areas in your state!

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Charter School Information


Getting Mad About Schools - I have spent a lot of time in the worst schools. What strikes me is how little anger is ever expressed about the mediocre lessons, low standards and decrepit conditions that characterize such places. When I ask good teachers why more is not being done, it can't be helped, they say. Getting mad won't do any good. But when Mike Feinberg became angry and did something outrageous, it did make a difference and after several other such episodes him -- he and his young and energetic staff had produced the greatest gains for low-income students anywhere in Houston, or the country for that matter.

Michigan Alliance for Charter School Reform (MACSR) - MACSR is an alliance of individuals and organizations working to improve public oversight of Michigan charter schools (public school academies), charter school management companies, and authorizing institutions.


Assessing the KIPP Schools: A New Perspective - Richard Rothstein has just published with three co-authors a short piece on the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), the nation's most interesting and most successful response so far to the problem of low achievement in inner city and rural public schools. What is most important about Rothstein's article is that it leaves intact, and I think in some ways strengthens, KIPP's reputation for significantly raising the reading and math abilities of low-income children. It also makes a good case -- without actually trying to do so -- for introducing into all low-performing schools KIPP's longer school days and year, stronger motivational techniques and better principal and teacher recruitment methods.


New Guide! Successful Charter Schools
USDOE, October 15, 2004
Twelve years after the first charter school was launched, nearly 3,000 charter schools nationwide serve as beacons of public school innovation and reform due to an unprecedented combination of freedom and accountability: freedom to lengthen the school day, require dress codes, put teachers on school boards, and adopt any instructional practice that will help achieve the mission of building the skills students need to succeed in today's world. How these schools have boosted student achievement is the focus of a new guide from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement. Successful Charter Schools offers practical advice and concrete examples from eight charter schools, all of which are meeting state standards of accountability for all students under the No Child Left Behind Act. The charter schools range from those educating urban students in largely underserved public schools to those serving parents in more affluent communities who want an alternative to the local public school program. The first of two sections provides an overview of common elements, including organizational structure, leadership and mission, novel curricula and programs, efforts to promote a community of continuous learning, partnerships and accountability for results. It also includes such illustrative samples as one school's list of parent involvement activities for which parents commit to serve 20 hours annually. The second section provides rich descriptions about each of the schools featured, which include The Arts and Technology Academy Public Charter School, Washington, D.C.; BASIS School, Inc., Tuscon, Ariz.; Community of Peace Academy, St. Paul, Minn.; KIPP Academy Houston, Houston, Texas; Oglethorpe Charter School, Savannah, Ga.; Ralph A. Gates Elementary School, Lake Forest, Calif.; Roxbury Preparatory Charter School, Boston, Mass.; and The School of Arts and Sciences, Tallahassee, Fla. For a free copy of Successful Charter Schools, while supplies last, contact the Department's publications center at 1-877-4ED-PUBS with identification number EU 0109P.

Articles Related to Charter, Alternative, and Private Schools


Seven Schools for Troubled Teens - Say your teenager has skidded off the college-bound track, and you’re worried about everything from substance-abuse issues and inappropriate sexual activity to behavior problems and emotional struggles. If you’ve reached the stressed-out point of considering a boarding school designed to help turn your child’s life around, Dave Marcus has assembled this short list of boarding schools he thinks do a particularly good job of helping kids get back on track.


School of Shock - Eight states are sending autistic, mentally retarded, and emotionally troubled kids to a facility that punishes them with painful electric shocks. How many times do you have to zap a child before it's torture? The Rotenberg Center is the only facility in the country that disciplines students by shocking them. Over its 36-year history, six children have died in its care, prompting numerous lawsuits and government investigations. Last year, New York state investigators filed a blistering report that made the place sound like a high school version of Abu Ghraib. Yet the program continues to thrive -- in large part because no one except desperate parents, and a few state legislators, seems to care about what happens to the hundreds of kids who pass through its gates.


Vision For A New Way - "A critical paradigm shift, which includes a change in mindset and behavior, is needed for any school to be in the forefront of providing effective options for children with disabilities." The Vision For A New Way website is designed to present a model for special education proposed by the Michigan Association of Public School Academies. It includes Tool Kits on Instructional Strategies, Technical Assistance Resources, Parent Resource Center, Building a Terrific Relationship with Your ISD, and Administration. It also includes current educational grant opportunities, special education resources and opportunities for professional development.


Charter High Schools: Closing the Gap in Charter High Schools - The U.S. Department of Education recently published a new guide that focuses on eight charter high schools that are raising the achievement levels of traditionally underserved student populations. The guide, Charter High Schools: Closing the Achievement Gap, reveals how these schools are using innovative instructional approaches to close the gap between the highest-performing students and those lagging behind. As independent public schools operating with more freedom than their traditional counterparts, charter schools promise greater academic results by developing creative solutions to the problems faced by many public high schools. The schools profiled in the guide are distinctively diverse but share six characteristics. They: are mission-driven; focus on college preparation; teach for mastery; provide support to students; value professional learning; and hold themselves accountable. The schools were chosen from over 400 charter high schools that are meeting academic targets under the No Child Left Behind Act and are closing achievement gaps by holding students to high academic standards. They are: Gateway High School (Calif.); Media and Technology Charter High School (Mass.); Minnesota New Country School; North Star Academy Charter School of Newark (N.J.); The Preuss School (Calif.); The SEED Public Charter School (District of Columbia); Toledo School for the Arts (Ohio); and YES College Preparatory School (Texas). For a free copy of the guide, call 1-877-4ED-PUBS with identification number ED002720P, while supplies last, or visit


MI CLASSROOM CRISIS: Detroit Parents See Charters as Best Hope for Kids - The area is so downtrodden, it's a surprise to anyone approaching University Preparatory High School, a stunning collection of glass and metal soaring above its dingy neighbors. University Prep, a charter school, is seeking the answer to one of this nation's biggest mysteries: how to get more urban kids to finish high school and go on to college.

MI Implementing the Secret of Success - Experiment aims to motivate urban youths to achieve. Across I-94 from Wayne State University is a neighborhood of rundown houses cut up into rundown apartments. The area is so downtrodden, it's a surprise to anyone approaching University Preparatory High School, a stunning collection of glass and metal soaring above its dingy neighbors.

MI LOOKING FOR A BETTER EDUCATION: Unhappy Parents Go Back To DPS - Charter schools promise, don't deliver, they say. While thousands have left the Detroit Public Schools, some have returned with horror stories about their charter school experiences. Parents complain about uncertified teachers, high teacher turnover and unkept promises.

CLASSROOM CRISIS: Moneymaking Charters Have Few Checks - A fringe benefit of attending a charter school run by a company called Charter School Administrative Services has been that selected students get to visit a chic mansion outside of Atlanta.


MI At-risk Kids Get Education Boost - Commerce Twp. middle-schoolers who struggle get help in alternative program. When Kandiss Keller tried to understand her homework last year, she would often get frustrated and give up. This school year, she has the help of Skills for Success, an alternative middle school program that meets twice a day, at the beginning and end of the school day.


Alternative Schooling Not Required, U.S. Court Rules - Although Michigan's constitution guarantees the right to a free public elementary and secondary education, neither it nor state law provides a right to alternative education for those older than the drop-out age of 16, a panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday in a case arising from the notorious 2000 murder of a New Baltimore teen pizza worker.


MI Charter Schools: 10 Years of Success and Failure - A decade after the first charter schools opened in Michigan, the alternative public schools still inspire the same kind of debate they did in 1994. Charter schools celebrated their 10-year anniversary this week, but even after a decade of operation, there's no consensus on their effectiveness. "We are basically right where we started," said Michigan State University Professor David Plank, co-director of the Education Policy Center.


Pioneering Charter School Remains Model for Success - Ten years ago, a group of San Carlos parents and community members took advantage of a new opportunity in public education: They ripped apart California's 7,800-page education rule book and designed a school as they saw fit.


MI Report Evaluates University-sponsored Schools; Many CMU Charters Miss Progress Goals - Central Michigan University, which sponsors about a third of Michigan's charter schools, has the state's third-worst record at making "adequate yearly progress" in its elementary charter programs.


MI No Child Puts Strain on Charters - A Michigan Department of Education analysis shows charter schools are more likely to face sanctions for failing to meet federal standards than traditional schools and are less likely to have certified teachers.


MI Charter School Oversight Concerns State Legislators - Legislators say they are paying attention to Walter French Academy, whose closure this summer could affect whether Michigan allows more university-run charter schools.


FL Academy's Tactics Worry Some Parents - Live Oak Academy is by many accounts a model program housing 60 girls whose crimes deem them to be a moderate threat to the community.


MI Bay Mills Authorizes Two New Charters - Today, the Bay Mills Community College (BMCC) Board of Regents authorized the establishment of two new charter schools in Michigan. The Board also voted to authorize two existing schools.


MI Attorney General Rules On Charter School Board Action - In response to a question posed by State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Watkins, Michigan Attorney General Mike COX today held the board of directors of a Public School Academy may only conduct business so long as a majority of its members are present.


MI Cox Rules Schools Must Enroll Ex-charter School Students - Traditional public school districts must enroll students within their boundaries who leave public school academies and may not treat them as nonresidents, Attorney General Michael Cox ruled Wednesday. He said the districts must accept the students regardless of when in the academic year they elect to transfer, importantly even after the official count day when state aid is calculated.


MI How the Unions Killed a Dream - A Philanthropist withdraws his offer to donate $200 million to Detroit's inner city public schools. In 1999, an unassuming Michigan road builder named Bob Thompson sold his construction company for $442 million, an amount he and his wife Ellen believed was far more than they needed for retirement. [Source]


MI AYP for Charter School Management Companies? - Schools managed by six companies fail to perform as well as low-scoring traditional public schools.


MI LOCAL COMMENT: No logic in adding charter schools - The other day, I was helping my fifth-grade son do his math homework. For the math problem 2 5/6 times 3 2/3, he initially got an answer of 4 and a fraction. But he realized it had to be wrong. He knew that just 2 times 3 equals 6. He applied logic. Logic, unfortunately, does not seem to be incorporated into the arguments of those seeking to dramatically increase the number of charter schools. A current Senate bill provides for lifting the cap on the number of schools universities can charter by 300 over the next 10 years.


Opting out of Public Education Part I: Private School Alternatives - There comes a point for many families where public education is no longer a viable option for their children. Perhaps services are too limited, staff too oblivious to the child's needs, or a family just feels that the constant negative environment is having a detrimental effect of the child's self-esteem and love of learning. So what are the choices beyond the neighborhood public school and how does a family decide which is the best choice for a specific child?

TX When Discipline Turns Fatal - Texas lacks tough law on prone restraint that's banned in three states.


Troubled Kids, Far From Home - Probing care, oversight at treatment centers.


PA Einstein Academy Loses Its Charter - A state board upheld findings by Morrisville's school district. The online school will appeal.

At the Top of the Class - KIPP programs could revolutionize charter schools in poor districts—if they can just keep their grades up.


D.C. Public Boarding School Preps Inner-City Kids - The students are all neatly dressed in uniforms. The average classroom has 14 kids, and each of them is prepared, engaged, and eager to learn.  Outside of class, students get regular exposure to professionals in a variety of fields. In other words, this place boasts many of the advantages that you would find at any good private school. That's what makes the SEED Public Charter School of Washington, DC such a bold step in educational reform.


MI Charters Planning to Open Despite Watkins' Concerns - At least one of the seven public school academies chartered by Bay Mills Community College to open in the fall is moving ahead despite refusal by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Watkins to recognize the schools without proof the college can properly oversee them.


At the Top of the Class - KIPP programs could revolutionize charter schools in poor districts—if they can just keep their grades up.


Education's virtual transformation - Welcome to the new face of public education. Called virtual or cyber charter schools, the programs combine public education, home schooling, virtual education and big business.


MI Cox Allows Charter Schools With Multiple Locations (Gongwer, March 7, 2003)


MI State Is Foolish to Turn Down $500 Million Gifts to Education - Inflexible policy blocks new Detroit schools and a college in Washtenaw County.


MI Fight for charter schools continues in Michigan - Few issues in education are as controversial as charter schools.


Court Case Involving Unilateral Placement: Florence County Sch. Dist. IV v. Shannon Carter (510 U. S. 7) - Shannon’s parents filed this suit in July 1986, claiming that the school district had breached its duty under IDEA to provide Shannon with a “free appropriate public education,” 1401(a)(18), and seeking reimbursement for tuition and other costs incurred at Trident. After a bench trial, the District Court ruled in the parents’ favor. The court held that the school district’s proposed educational program and the achievement goals of the IEP “were wholly inadequate” and failed to satisfy the requirements of the Act. App. to Pet. for Cert 27a. The court further held that “[a]lthough [Trident Academy] did not comply with all the procedures outlined in [IDEA],” the school “provided Shannon an excellent education in substantial compliance with all the substantive requirements” of the statute. Id. at 37a.

MI Gongwer 12-14-02 Charter Bill Felled by Impatient Senate, Plodding House


MI Charter school study finds support is solid - MSU report may play role in effort to lift current cap.


Gongwer 11-27-02 Federal Regulations Could Push Up Charter Schools


Read the article from MIRS 7/31/02 - Cyber' Schools — Only A Matter Of Time?


Private Schools and Information (A - Z)

Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers on Obligations of Public Agencies in Serving Children with Disabilities Placed by Their Parents at Private Schools

Looking for a school with a certain disability in mind?

You can now search for schools by disability population at:

Resource: The National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC)

A non-profit association whose mission is to represent private special education programs and affiliated state associations and to ensure access for individuals to appropriate private special education programs and services as vital components of the special education continuum. The association consists of private early intervention services, schools, residential therapeutic centers, and adult living programs that serve both privately and publicly placed individuals with disabilities.

Council for American Private Education
The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) is a coalition of national organizations and state affiliates serving private elementary and secondary schools. Founded in 1971 to provide a coherent voice for private education, CAPE is dedicated to fostering communication and cooperation within the private school community and with the public sector to improve the quality of education for all of the nation’s children.


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Questions and Answers on Obligations of Public Agencies in Serving Children with Disabilities Placed by Their Parents at Private Schools
Author: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), Year of Publication: 2000, Length: 23 pages, NO LONGER AVAILABLE FROM NICHCY


Alternative Schools


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News About Vouchers


D.C. Holders of Vouchers Go Shopping for Schools - More than 500 families in the District's school voucher program packed a Monday night school fair staffed by representatives of 44 D.C. private schools.


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