The Civil Rights Project, Harvard University, 125 Mt. Auburn Street, 3rd Floor, Cambridge, MA. Tel: 617-496-6367; Fax: 617-495-5210; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.civilrightsproject.harvard.edu.
Reports - Research
This study examined whether charter schools, in states where they now enroll at least 5,000 students, are more or less segregated than their public school counterparts, also noting racial/ethnic guidelines in the current state charter legislation. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics 2000-01 Common Core of Data were collected on the 16 states with charter school populations greater than 5,000. Results indicated that charter schools in most of the states enrolled disproportionately high percentages of minority students, resulting in students of all races being more likely to attend schools that on average, had a higher percentage of minority students. However, white charter school students were still less likely than other racial groups to be in heavily minority schools. About 70 percent of all black charter school students attended intensely segregated minority schools, compared with 34 percent of black public school students. Because of the disproportionately high enrollment of minorities in charter schools, white charter school students went to school, on average, with more nonwhite than white students in traditional public schools. The pattern for Latino segregation was mixed. Overall, Latino charter school students were less segregated than their black counterparts. In general, findings indicate that, though many states have laws that require compliance with school desegregation orders or mandate specific racial/ethnic balance in charter schools, there is little serious effort to ensure racial balance. (Contains 13 tables and 51 references.) (SM)