Frankenberg, Erica, & Lee, Chungmei
Charter Schools and Race: A Lost Opportunity for Integrated Education
Whether or not charter schools offer a less segregated experience than the public schools to the increasing numbers of students they serve.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
The Civil Rights Project
- Charter schools are largely more segregated than public schools. Segregation is worse for African American than for Latino students, but is very high for both.
- Charter schools in most of these states enroll disproportionately high percentages of minority students resulting in students of all races being more likely to attend schools that, on average, have a higher percentage of minority students.
- In almost every state studied, the average Black charter school attends school with a higher percentage of Black students and a lower percentage of White students.
- Because of the disproportionately high enrollment of minority students in charter schools, White charter schools students go to school, on average, with more non-White students than Whites in non-charter public schools.
- The pattern for Latino segregation is mixed: on the whole, Latino charter school students are less segregated than their Black counterparts.
- Instead of creating schools of diversity, many charter schools are places of racial isolation, particularly for minority schools.
- There is little evidence of serious effort at the state level to ensure racial balance.
- In most of the sixteen states, Black and Latino charter school students are attending segregated minority schools at an even higher rate than those in the increasingly resegregating public schools.
- Conditions that may help address issues of racial isolation by creating a system that allows students to choose to attend charter schools on a equitable basis: full information, the provision of free transportation to all students, providing for an welcoming all groups, including students from all racial/ethnic groups, English Language Learners, and special education students; NO screening of children fro charter schools, both academic and otherwise.
Charter Schools, Choice, Segregation
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- The study focuses on the sixteen states that had total statewide charter enrollments of at least 5,000 students in 2000-01 (account for 95.4% of the entire U.S. charter school population).
- Data are from the National Center for Education Statistics 2000-01 Common Core of Data (CCD). The CCD is a comprehensive, yearly national dataset of all operational public schools and includes school information on student characteristics such as enrollment and racial counts that are comparable across states and between charter schools and non-charter public schools.
- Use descriptive statistics (national and state level trends, tables and graphs).
- Use the exposure index, which describes the racial composition of the school attended by the typical student of a given race.