Author: Kotok, Stephen, Frankenberg, Erica, Schafft, Kai A., Mann, Bryan A., & Fuller, Edward J.

Title: School Choice, Racial Segregation, and Poverty Concentration: Evidence from Pennsylvania Charter School Transfers

University Affiliation: University of Texas at El Paso, The Pennsylvania State University


Research Question: 1)To what extent are students and schools affected by movement between charter schools and traditional public schools (TPS)? 2) Are student transfers from TPS to brick and mortar (B&M) charter schools associated with increasing racial isolation? How does this vary by geography? 3) Are student transfers from TPSs to charter schools associated with increasing exposure to low-income students? 3) How does this vary by geography? 4) What are the demographic characteristics of the TPSs from which cyber students transfer?

Published: Yes

Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation: Educational Policy

Journal Entry: Pp. 1-33

Year: 2015


  1. On average, the transfers of African American and Latino students from TPSs to charter schools were segregative. White students transferring within urban areas transferred to more racially segregated schools. Students from all three racial groups attended urban charters with lower poverty concentration.
  2. The results of the study suggest that charter schools limit equity by segregating students by race and poverty as well as increasing student mobility.
  3. African American and Latino students (along with urban White students), on average, move to charter schools with higher percentage of students that are their own race than previously attended traditional public schools.
  4. When African American and Latino students in nonurban areas moved to charters, they attend schools with much higher poverty concentration than the public schools they left and lose out on the peer effects and other benefits associated with attending a higher SES school.
  5. African Americans, Whites, and Latinos in urban areas move to less economically disadvantaged schools from traditional public schools with proportionally more disadvantaged students.
  6. White African American and Latino students living in suburban and rural areas moved to charters with much more concentrated poverty.
  7. The negative effects of the high student mobility are likely to be the strongest at schools with other types of concentrated disadvantage.
  8. Many of charter schools in Pennsylvania perform worse academically than their sending TPS; some, of course, outperform TPS schools.

Scholarship Type Journal Article Empirical Research

Keywords: African American, Charter Schools, Geographic Location, Minorities, Racial Composition, SES, SES Composition, Segregation, Transfer

Regions Northeast

Methodologies: Quantitative

Research Designs: Secondary Data, Survey

Method of Analysis: Descriptive Statistics

Sampling Frame: Students transferring between traditional public schools and Charter schools in Pennsylvania

Sample Types: Population

Unit of Analysis: School, School District, Student

Data Types: Quantitative-Longitudinal

Data Description:


Entry Created at: 2016-04-19 23:34:11 UTC
Last Update: 2016-08-01 16:02:24 UTC