by Stacey Rosenkrantz Aronson

Policy Considerations

These issues highlight the need for policymakers to explore at least two impacts of alternative schools on the rest of the educational system.

Policymakers encouraging alternative education programs should evaluate their impact on the regular school system. After placing students in alternative education, educators and policymakers should consider whether traditional schools effectively serve the remaining students or still fail some. If additional students at-risk of failure surface, policymakers must consider how to address their needs. Do these students also need an alternative?

Policymakers should consider broader reforms to improve the current system for all students. More flexible teaching and learning environments within traditional schools may reduce the number of students needing separate alternative programs and schools.

Next Page: Conclusions

Published in Insights on Educational Policy, Practice, and Research Number 6, December 1995, Alternative Learning Environments (Summary of Alternative Education Legislation)