Garcia, David R.
Academic and Racial Segregation in Charter Schools: Do Parents Sort Students into Specialized Charter Schools?
Arizona State University
This article presents a dynamic model that focuses on how parental school choices affect the degree of racial and academic segregation that students experience in charter schools.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Education and Urban Society
Vol. 40, No. 5, pp. 590-612
- For the years 1997 to 2000, students exited district schools where the average White student was exposed to 30% minority students. These students enrolled in charter schools where the average White student attended the same school with 18% minority students.
- White students exited district elementary schools where the average White elementary student attended the same school with 29% minority students to attend a charter elementary school the following year with exposure to 16% minority students.
- On entry into high school, students also attended more racially segregated charter schools, but the difference between the district schools of exit and charter high schools of entry are less pronounced than in the elementary grades.
- Students in college-preparatory and Back-to-Basics elementary charter schools attended charter schools with less exposure between White and minority students compared with district schools.
- Students attending all types of charter high schools were in environments with more academic exposure than in district schools.
- Students do not attend charter schools according to patterns that support the charter school specialization theory, but in most cases the trend is toward more integrated conditions in charter schools than hypothesized.
Journal Article Historical Analysis
Charter Schools, Choice, Racial Composition, Segregation
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Sample includes nearly all Arizona students in grades 2-9
- Student attendance patterns are tracked using student records from the annual administration of the Stanford Achievement Test, ninth edition (SAT9) and the Aprenda2 tests in Arizona.
- Individual student SAT9 and Aprenda2 records are linked across the years 1997 to 2000
- In total, the database includes 846,548 linked, student test records for the years 1997-2000.
- Racial and academic segregation is measured using the intergroup exposure index, which compares the degree of exposure between two mutually exclusive groups. The intergroup exposure index ranges from 0 to 1.00 and is the weighted average proportion of students in the context group to students in the reference group at the school level.
- DV: Choice to attend charter school
- IV: Racial composition of school, race of student, type of school attended