Miron, Gary, Urschel, Jessica L., Mathis, William J., & Tornquist, Elana
Schools Without Diversity: Education Management Organizations, Charter Schools, and the Demographic Stratification of the American School System
Western Michigan University
The study explores whether these EMO-operated charter schools integrate or segregate students by four key demographic characteristics: ethnic/minority classification, socioeconomic status, disabling condition and English language facility.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
- Charter schools operated by EMOs tend to be strongly racial segregative for both minority and majority students as compared with the composition of the sending district.
- For economically challenged students, EMO-operated charter schools more strongly segregate students than do their respective local districts.
- EMO-operated schools consistently enrolled a lower proportion of special education children than their home district.
- English Language Learners (ELL) were also consistently underrepresented in charter schools in every comparison.
- For both for-profit and nonprofit EMOs, the segregation patterns of 2000-2001 were virtually identical to those in 2006-2007. Consequently, a pattern of segregation attributable to EMO-operated schools is being maintained.
Charter Schools, Diversity, Racial Composition, SES, School Organization
Method of Analysis:
Schools operated by EMOs
Unit of Analysis:
- Includes data on 968 schools, which comprised 89% of schools operated by Education Management Organizations (EMOs) in 2006-2007.
- Data from the Commercialism in Education Research Unit at Arizona State University which details the management of charter schools by for-profit EMOs.
- national Common Core of Data (CCD) used as primary source for demographic data
- Longitudinal datasets were also constructed that included two additional years (2000-2001 and 2003-2004).
- Demographic characteristics on each charter school were compared with those same characteristics from the sending public school district.
- Calculated a differential score for each of the four subgroups of students (minority, low-income, special education, and ELL) which can be interpreted percentage-point difference between an EMO-operated school indicator and the local district indicator.
- Free lunch program (FRL) qualification used as proxy for low income status.
- Special education students were defined as those having Individual Education Plans (IEPs).
- DV: Distribution of minority, FRL, IEP, and ELL students
- IV: Type of school (i.e., charter school operated by EMO, local public school)