The report finds that charter schools continue to stratify students by race, class and possibly language, and are more racially isolated than traditional public schools in virtually every state and large metropolitan area in the country. Nearly 80 percent of Latino charter school students in Texas, for example, are in schools that have 90-100 percent minority student populations. Similarly, the typical black charter-school student attends a campus where nearly 3 in 4 students also are black.
The report offers several recommendations for restoring equity provisions and integration in charter schools, including the establishment of new guidance and reporting requirements by the federal government, federal funding opportunities for magnet schools and the monitoring of patterns of charter school enrollment, particularly in regard to low-income and ELL (English Language Learner) students. The authors argue that the findings should be considered in evaluating new federal incentives to states that encourage the expansion of charter schools, such as the Obama administration’s Race to the Top initiative.
The report is based on an analysis of federal government data and an examination of charter schools in 40 states and the District of Columbia, along with several dozen metropolitan areas with large enrollments of charters. It was produced by The Civil Rights Project, which researches critical issues of civil rights and equal opportunity for racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
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