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The Failure Track

Alternative Schools and Accountability

Under pressure to meet accountability standards, school districts dump struggling students into alternative schools that are rife with profiteering, harsh discipline and educational neglect.

Arkansas Spurns Warehousing of Floundering Students

In much of the country, alternative schools are neglected, underfunded and stigmatized. But one of the poorest states is spending big on them.

How Students Get Banished to Alternative Schools

In this era of so-called “school choice,” a pattern has emerged: Students don’t choose their alternative schools. They’re sentenced to them.

For-Profit Schools Reward Students for Referrals and Facebook Endorsements

Schools for potential dropouts market aggressively to boost enrollment — especially during weeks when heads are counted to determine funding. Some of their tactics may violate federal consumer protections.

For-Profit Schools Get State Dollars For Dropouts Who Rarely Drop In

Schools touted by Betsy DeVos aggressively recruit at-risk students, offer barebones courses, and boost revenue by inflating enrollment.

Camelot Under Siege

Camelot Education, a for-profit manager of alternative schools, is facing challenges nationwide after our report on alleged physical abuse of students by staffers.

These For-Profit Schools Are ‘Like a Prison’

Camelot Education takes the students that public schools have given up on. But some current and former students say its discipline goes too far.

Florida to Examine Whether Alternative Charter Schools Underreport Dropouts

State officials are following up on a ProPublica report last month that Orlando uses alternative charter schools to boost ratings and hide dropouts.

‘Alternative’ Education: Using Charter Schools to Hide Dropouts and Game the System

School officials nationwide dodge accountability ratings by steering low achievers to alternative programs.

Alternative School Enrollment and Warning Signs

Which districts have large numbers of students in alternative schools, and where are those schools potentially problematic?

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