Kotok, Stephen, Frankenberg, Erica, Schafft, Kai A., Mann, Bryan A., & Fuller, Edward J.
School Choice, Racial Segregation, and Poverty Concentration: Evidence from Pennsylvania Charter School Transfers
University of Texas at El Paso, The Pennsylvania State University
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?
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
- 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.
- The results of the study suggest that charter schools limit equity by segregating students by race and poverty as well as increasing student mobility.
- 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.
- 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.
- African Americans, Whites, and Latinos in urban areas move to less economically disadvantaged schools from traditional public schools with proportionally more disadvantaged students.
- White African American and Latino students living in suburban and rural areas moved to charters with much more concentrated poverty.
The negative effects of the high student mobility are likely to be the strongest at schools with other types of concentrated disadvantage.
- Many of charter schools in Pennsylvania perform worse academically than their sending TPS; some, of course, outperform TPS schools.
Journal Article Empirical Research
African American, Charter Schools, Geographic Location, Minorities, Racial Composition, SES, SES Composition, Segregation, Transfer
Secondary Data, Survey
Method of Analysis:
Students transferring between traditional public schools and Charter schools in Pennsylvania
Unit of Analysis:
School, School District, Student
- Authors use two sources of data. Individual student and school/district data for 2008-2009 to 2011-2012 from the Pennsylvania Department of education indicating what school the student attended in each year, his or her race and his or her grade, pre-k students were omitted but 12th graders were left in if they repeated the 12th grade. The authors linked the individual data to school level data from the National Center of Education Statistics(NCES) Common Core of Data (CCD).
- CCD variables included demographics of the student enrollment and other school or district characteristics, and urbanicity. The analysis is restricted to students who attended one school type in one year and one school type the next school year.