Under pressure to meet accountability standards, school districts dump struggling students into alternative schools that are rife with profiteering, harsh discipline and educational neglect.
In much of the country, alternative schools are neglected, underfunded and stigmatized. But one of the poorest states is spending big on them.
In this era of so-called “school choice,” a pattern has emerged: Students don’t choose their alternative schools. They’re sentenced to them.
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.
Schools touted by Betsy DeVos aggressively recruit at-risk students, offer barebones courses, and boost revenue by inflating enrollment.
Camelot Education, a for-profit manager of alternative schools, is facing challenges nationwide after our report on alleged physical abuse of students by staffers.
Camelot Education takes the students that public schools have given up on. But some current and former students say its discipline goes too far.
State officials are following up on a ProPublica report last month that Orlando uses alternative charter schools to boost ratings and hide dropouts.
School officials nationwide dodge accountability ratings by steering low achievers to alternative programs.
Which districts have large numbers of students in alternative schools, and where are those schools potentially problematic?