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Educational policy analysis archives.
n Vol. 11, no. 32 (September 05, 2003).
Tempe, Ariz. :
b Arizona State University ;
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida.
c September 05, 2003
Charter schools and race :a lost opportunity for integrated education / Erica Frankenberg [and] Chungmei Lee.
Arizona State University.
University of South Florida.
t Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA)
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1 of 48 A peer-reviewed scholarly journal Editor: Gene V Glass College of Education Arizona State University Copyright is retained by the first or sole author, who grants right of first publication to the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES EPAA is a project of the Education Policy Studies Laboratory. Articles appearing in EPAA are abstracted in the Current Index to Journals in Education by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation and are permanently archived in Resources in Education Volume 11 Number 32September 5, 2003ISSN 1068-2341Charter Schools and Race: A Lost Opportunity for In tegrated Education Erica Frankenberg Harvard University Chungmei Lee Harvard UniversityCitation: Frankenberg, E. and Lee, C. (2003, Septem ber 5). Charter schools and race: A lost opportunity for integrated education. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11 (32). Retrieved [Date] from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v11n32/.AbstractSegregation patterns in the nation's charter school s are studied. After reviewing state charter legislation that directly addresses issues of racial and ethnic balance of st udent enrollment, we briefly examine the racial compositi on and segregation of the charter school population nation ally. School-level analyses, aggregated by state constitu te the primary method of studying segregation in charter s chools. First, we look at racial composition and segregatio n of charter schools by state. Then, we consider the dif ferences in segregation between non-charter public schools ( or simply "public schools" for convenience) and charte r schools, as well as segregation within the charter school sector. We conclude with a discussion of the articl e's findings and recommendations to promote further rac ial
2 of 48 equity in this growing sector of public schools. ( Note 1 ) ForewordBy Gary OrfieldHarvard UniversityCharter schools are one of the most important educa tional innovations of this generation. They have spread rapidly across the country and are often supported with fervent assurances that th ey can solve problems attributed to school bureaucracies. They a re usually small, deregulated, run, at first, by a founder with a vis ion or a private company, and with faculties that are not supposed t o be afflicted with the burnout and cynicism found in some high poverty schools with aging teachers. ( Note 2 ) Embraced by both political parties, funded from federal, state, and local budgets, approved by most state legislatures, featured in countless newspaper stori es, hailed as the potential antidote to all that is pathological in w eak public schools, charter schools were put forward as something that combined the independence and autonomy of the private schools wi th public support and free tuition of the public schools. Man y communities have been willing to try the experiment. According to th e National Center for Education Statistics, there were 2,348 charter scho ols during the 2001-02 school year. ( Note 3 ) Although there was an early concern that charter schools would serve as a haven for whi te students to escape diverse public schools, many minority parent s have also expressed strong interest in alternatives to their local public schools and some minority led civil rights organizations ru n charter schools. ( Note 4 ) This article looks at only one aspect of the charte r school storyÂ—whether or not these schools offer a less seg regated experience than the public schools to the increasin g numbers of students they serve. Obviously, this is but one of a number of dimensions on which these schools should be examine d. Public schools have struggled with the issue of racial seg regation for the past 50 years. We are now 15 years into an era of resegr egation of our nation's schools, and black and Latino students are more isolated than they have been for three decades. This increas ing isolation is not just isolation by race but also by poverty and, inc reasingly for Latinos and some Asian groups, by language. As reported in our latest study on national segregation trends, nearly nine-tenths of intensely segregated black and Latino schools have student bo dies with concentrated poverty. ( Note 5 ) The inequalities inherent in schools that serve children with worse health care, weaker nutrition, less educated parents, more frequent moves, weaker presc hool skills, and often more non-English speakers are exacerbated by the fact that these schools are also less likely to have credenti aled and experienced teachers. Since there is a very strong general relationship between segregation by race and povert y and educational
3 of 48 inequality on many dimensions, this isolation can h ave serious consequences for students.This article details a disappointing set of finding s regarding its central questionÂ— charter schools are largely more segregat ed than public schools. Segregation is worse for African American than for Latino students, but is very high for both. In some states white student isolation in charter schools is as high as that of African Americans. The problems reported here may not be due either to the intent or the desires and values of charter school leaders. They may reflect flaws in state policies, in enforcement, in methods of appro ving schools for charters, or the location where charter schools are set up. The justification for segregated schools as places of opportunity is basically a Â“separate but equalÂ” justification, an argument that there is something about the schools that can and does overc ome the normal pattern of educational inequality that afflicts man y of these schools. Charter school advocates continually assert such ad vantages and often point to the strong demand for the schools by minority parents in minority communities, including schools that are de signed specifically to serve a minority population. It is certainly tru e that minority parents are actively seeking alternatives to segregated, co ncentrated poverty, and low-achieving public schools. ( Note 6 ) White parents have also shown strong interest in educational alternatives a s evidenced by the strong demand for magnet schools.Unfortunately, despite claims by charter advocates, there is no systematic research or data that show that charter schools perform better than public schools. Since charter schools e mbody wildly different educational approaches and since charter and public schools obtain their enrollment in very different ways, eva luation and comparisons between the two require very careful an alysis. At a minimum, it is certainly safe to say that there is little convincing evidence for the superiority of charter schools ove r public schools in the same areas. In fact, some of the studies sugges t that charter schools are, on average, even weaker. ( Note 7 ) Authorization of charter schools is different in ea ch state that has approved them. Charters permit and even welcome an enormous variety of innovative educational approaches, thoug h they support very traditional approaches as well. Some of the ch arter founders are idealistic education leaders with a great new idea, strong imagination and inexhaustible energy, while some are committed community activists who have longed to run their own schools, or to serve only one group in a community, and many are managed by c orporations that hope to profit from their operation. For many charter school founders, there is an implicit assumption that less government control and oversight will produce positive educational ben efits. One of the problems in evaluating the academic effe ctiveness of charter schools is that their effect is normally ex amined by comparing
4 of 48 them to regular public schools, but their student b ody and parent groups are not the same, which makes the comparison of academic achievement inaccurate. Even if one were able to co ntrol for income, parent education, and other relevant, easily measur able family resources, there are several kinds of selection bia s that make such comparisons virtually impossible. First, the famili es who are informed enough to choose a school and make the effort to ge t their child to a more distant school every day are not the same as t he families who do not. ( Note 8 ) Second, charter schools commonly lack the experti se and programs to serve students who are English Lang uage Learners or severely disadvantaged children such as those in Special Education. As these students tend to score lower on standardized tests, if students from lower achieving groups do n ot enroll, the school's average scores will tend to rise. ( Note 9 ) Third, many charters seek applications from students they belie ve would succeed, or who would respond to their approach, while not r ecruiting others. Some schools have screening procedures that public schools are prohibited from using because the public schools ar e required to serve all students. These biases mean that even if there were higher test scores or lower dropout rates for charter schools i t might well be because of selective recruitmentÂ—students from fami lies with more resources and/or fewer students with special needsÂ— than because of the school's superior educational approach.Curiously, in an era in which tests and accountabil ity have been the hallmark of education policy, there has been little serious accountability for charter schools. Theoretically c harter schools must meet the terms of their charter or they will be ter minated. In most states, however, there are few resources for oversi ght of schools and revocations of charters for educational failure, as opposed to financial problems, are rare. ( Note 10 ) Often their impact on racial segregation is ignored by the policymakers, despite the growing body of research evidence that has documented a trend of segregation in charter schools. If there is no real evidence linking super ior performance to educational program rather than admissions selectiv ity, looking at general characteristics of the student body that ar e usually linked to educational inequality, such as levels of segregati on, certainly deserves attention. On this front, there is little positive to say about these schools.One might well think that charter schools would hav e a better chance to be integrated than public schools. Like magnet s chools a generation earlier, charter schools offer distincti ve curricula and the opportunity to create and manage schools with freed om from many normal constraints in large districts. Unlike magne t schools, charter schools have the added advantages of even greater f reedom to innovate and for the most part, are not tied to geo graphically fixed attendance boundaries in residentially segregated c ommunities as are neighborhood public schools but can draw from where ver interested students can be found (in some places where school districts grant charters, they are limited to the school district b oundaries.)
5 of 48 The high level of racial segregation in charter sch ools is not a surprise when viewed in light of segregation in many aspects of American life. Those who think that charter schools are inherently likely to be free of racial inequality need to reflect on the racial con sequences of other markets operating in areas of housing, employment, health care, etc. where the markets have worked more to perpetuate an d spread racial inequality than to cure it. One could accurately sa y that the normal outcome of markets when applied to a racially strat ified society is a perpetuation of racial stratification. This is why early educational choice programs were often found to produce white f light from integrated schools and to contribute to segregation in many school desegregation trials. ( Note 11 ) Those experiences were apparently unknown or overlooked by designers and supporters o f many charter school policies.In looking at the data presented here it is worth c onsidering the experience of magnet schools. There have been a han dful of highly selective schools in American public school systems such as Boston Latin, San Francisco's Lowell High, and New York Ci ty's Stuyvestant High, which have produced remarkable students for g enerations. Overall, however, choice of schools and specialized curriculum for schools (except for vocational schools) were very r are in the U. S. until desegregation policies produced the magnet school m ovement in the mid-1970s. Magnet schools, like charter schools, gr ew rapidly in response to federal grant programs. The magnet scho ol programs funded by the Emergency School Aid Act, however, ha d desegregation policies while the federal charter sc hool law did not. The charter school law was a movement backward to t he unregulated choice policies common 40 years ago across the Sout h and in many big cities. Those did not work to produce integrati on and charter school policies do not either.Racial segregation in charter schools needs to be c onsidered as both a critical problem and a lost opportunity. Experien ce shows, that segregation is not inevitable and that it is possib le to produce quite different outcomes with appropriate civil rights po licies. As we approach the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education this issue should be addressed and resolved. If we are t o be serious about the impact of charters on minority opportunity in A merican schools, we need to look with considerable suspicion on unfound ed claims of sweeping benefits, insist that accountability be ex tended fully to this sector, and not reach conclusions on the basis of a ssumptions rather than evidence.This article should broaden the discussion of the f uture development of charter schools. Certainly any publicly funded s chools should not be run in ways that either intensify racial isolati on or undermine integrated schools in integrated neighborhoods. Cha rter schools offer opportunities, like good magnet schools, to create successful and voluntary diversity. Clearly there are some very am bitious and
6 of 48 attractive schools being created under these polici es. But too many are separate and unequal. We hope that this article will stir discussion and action to help develop the positive aspects of this innovation and to build into the charter school movement a commitm ent to offering school opportunities to all students that better re flect the diversity in our society as well as the demands of colleges and workplaces where they must eventually succeed.IntroductionIn the school year 2000-01, 1,855 charter schools w ere operating in 34 states that had passed legislation authorizing the creation of charter schools. ( Note 12 ) Charter schools educate fewer than one percent of a ll public school students yet can have a substantial local impact on surrounding districts in terms of student enrollment. Most of these charter schools are conce ntrated in a few states, and in most states are located in urban areas. Charter sch ools in the sixteen states covered in this article (see Table 6 for list of st ates and their enrollments) make up more than 95% of the population of charter school s tudents. ( Note 13 ) Among different states there is great variation in the pe rcentage of minority students attending charter schools. ( Note 14 ) One reason for this variation could be that charter school reform has been supported by a diver se array of politicians and educators. Nonetheless, as publicly-funded schools of choice, it is important to examine whether these schools offer white and minor ity students interracial exposure when segregation across the country is inc reasing for black and Latino students, and white students are more racially isol ated than students of any other racial/ethnic group (Frankenberg, Lee & Orfield, 20 03). In the past, most educational choice options (such as magnet schools) arose from desegregation plans (American Institutes for Resear ch, 1993). In l973 the U. S. Supreme Court extended desegregation requirements t o northern and western cities. However, just a year later, the Court rejec ted the lower Detroit court's proposition that integrating minority students in h eavily minority and rapidly changing districts required including the suburbs t o produce long lasting desegregation. Big cities looking at demographic fa cts and seeing the conflict over mandatory reassignments of students in cities such as Boston looked for a way to accomplish desegregation through voluntary choice. The problem was that very few whites had ever voluntarily chosen to attend black schools or to transfer for integration purposes. The idea of the magnet school s movement was to create specialized schools that could offer unique opportu nities that would create a demand for voluntary transfers from both white and minority students and result in a student population that would meet desegregation standards (American Institutes for Research, 1993). By establishing special progra ms and curricular offerings in inner-city areas, school systems used magnet school s and programs to attract white students to predominantly minority schools. T his movement became central to the desegregation strategies of cities such as M ilwaukee, Cincinnati, and Buffalo. Furthermore, a title was written into federal law o ffering funds for such schools when they served desegregation purposes. The idea l ed to the creation of many highly popular and often well-integrated schools in districts that had few such opportunities and was strongly supported by school superintendents and boards. Because of the explicit emphasis on racial/ethnic b alance, magnet schools are
7 of 48 often among the most integrated schools in their di strict (Blank, Levine and Steele, 1996). By 2001 there were a reported 1,736 magnet s chools in the county and there had been federal support for them for a quart er century. They enrolled 3. 0% of American students, compared to the 1. 2% in char ter schools (Hoffman, 2003). Thus, magnet schools were a well-established model long before the charter school movement began.Recently educational choice options have proliferat ed, through the growth of charter schools, vouchers, interand intra-distric t choice, magnet schools, and private schools. Building on the increasing belief of the importance of parents to have choice in their child's education, the No Chil d Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 (Public Law 107-110) further expanded school choice by allowing students in failing schools to transfer. ( Note 15 ) The rationale is that the achievement of poor and minority students will improve if they have access to schools that have demonstrated higher levels of student performance. It also assumes that parents will be able to make decisions about what education is best for their children, which will force schools to competeÂ—and ultimately improv eÂ—to keep and/or attract students.Charter schools, a form of school choice that is al most a decade old, represent a further attempt to institute school choice within t he public education sphere. A charter is merely a political, legal, administrativ e and financial arrangement of relative autonomy, created in a somewhat different form in each state that has authorized them. The belief is that by introducing such choice options into the public schools, students and their parents could ch oose the school that was most appropriate, which would create incentives for all schools to improve in order to compete for students (Apple, 2001). Literature on s chool choice is mixed as to whether these assumptions are correct and actually result in improved education for all (for a brief discussion see Kim and Sunderm an, 2003). Since its inception, the charter school movement ha s been politically charged for both its proponents and opponents. Even within the charter school reform there is a diffuse group of supporters who favor charter schoo ls for widely varying reasons; two of the major driving forces behind the charter school reform have been the excellence movement including high standards for al l students and market-driven reforms aimed at making schools more efficient. Cha rter supporters say that such schools give important new options for parents, all ow for educational innovation, and are not constrained by typical school district boundaries and student assignment practices that produce segregated patter ns of schooling in many neighborhood school systems (Finn, Manno & Vanourek 2000; RPP International, 2000).Politicians have also supported the rapid growth of charter schools: NCLB also provided monetary assistance to increase the number of charter schools in states with charter legislation. ( Note 16 ) In fact, while many public schools and districts across the nation are facing substantial budget cut s, President Bush has proposed $700 million in spending for charter schools.Critics of school choice, however, argue that compe tition among schools will only improve student achievement if all schools are able to compete and students are equally free to choose. Otherwise, those students w ho are left behind by those who
8 of 48 choose or are chosen in more competitive environmen ts will have even less resources with which to compete (Arsen, Plank & Syk es, 1999). Those opposed also suggest that choice systems can compromise the public good by educating students in isolation from others for their private good, often further stratifying students along racial and socioeconomic lines (Cobb & Glass, 1999; Horn & Miron, 2000; Hochschild & Scovronick 2003). Additionally, school choice policies can allow schools to exclude students with special needs if i t does not fit within their mission (Howe and Welner, 2002). The theory of market solut ions rests on assumptions about choice in chartersÂ— that there is full inform ation for everyone, that there are not economic or other barriers to attendance, an th at the school will welcome students from all backgrounds. A great deal of expe rience with choice plans and magnet schools before the charter experiment show t hat knowledge and access were often very unequal, that families with the mos t resources and information often got access to the most highly regarded school s, that students from other races often felt unwelcome unless there were specia l efforts to recruit and support them in the new school, and that free transportatio n was essential to assure choice and access for lower income families (Fuller and El more, 1996). Choice plans that operate without these kinds of supports permit choi ce for only those who know what the choices are, how to access them, and do no t need support to get to school.Given these claims and counterclaims about charter schools, there remain important questions that should be addressed, parti cularly in the area of racial/ethnic segregation of students, which has be en largely ignored in the overall debate about charter schools. Are charter schools o ffering students better opportunities for interracial exposure than the inc reasingly segregated public schools?Past research has shown that minority stude nts attending integrated schools are more likely to attend and succeed in co llege, as well as to live and work in interracial settings (Wells & Crain, 1994; Eaton 2001; Braddock II, 1980). Additionally, recent research by The Civil Rights P roject has documented a number of important educational and civic benefits for stu dents of all races in desegregated high schools (Kurlaender & Yun, 2001).Segregated minority schools, where minority student s experience little interracial exposure, are highly correlated with schools of con centrated poverty. Eighty-six percent of the students in all public schools that have greater than 90 percent black and Latino students of their total enrollment are a lso in schools where at least half of the student body is poor. ( Note 17 ) These schools are more likely to have lower average test scores, less qualified and experienced teachers, and fewer advanced courses (Young & Smith, 1997). Moreover, research o n charter schools has shown that charter schools with higher proportions of min ority students tend to have fewer resources and less academic curricula than charter schools serving mainly white students (Fuller, Gawlik, Gonzales, Park & Gibbings 2003). As publicly-funded schools, it is essential that charter schools provi de equal educational opportunity for all students.Charter school proponents claim that charter school s provide options for low socio-economic students (Finn, Manno & Vanourek, 20 00). Preliminary analyses question whether charter schools are, in fact, achi eving this goal of educating low-income students. At the national level, in 1997 -8, 39% of charter school students versus 37% of public school students recei ved free and/or reduced lunch.
9 of 48 Miron and Nelson (2002) report that, based on data from half of Michigan charter schools, when examining the student poverty composi tion of charter schools in comparison to their surrounding districts, charter schools serve a slightly lower percentage of low-income students; there are simila r and even stronger trends in California, Massachusetts, and Colorado (SRI Intern ational, 1997; Wood, 1999; Clayton Foundation, 1999). At the district level, A scher and colleagues (1999) found that only 35% of charter schools were socio-e conomically diverse (between 20% and 80% of students on free/reduced lunch) as c ompared to 72% of public schools in surrounding districts. However, it is di fficult to determine the level of student poverty in charter schools because many of these schools do not participate in the federal free/reduced lunch progr am, which is the most common measurement of the socio-economic status of student s (Wells, Holme, Lopez, & Cooper, 2000). ( Note 18 ) More analysis is needed to accurately ascertain t he levels of student poverty in all charter schoolsÂ—particula rly in the many segregated charter schools that exist across this country.Research QuestionsRecently, issues of accountability and equity for c harter schools have come under greater scrutiny (Cobb & Glass, 1999; Wells, 2002). However, as the 2001 RAND book, Rhetoric versus Reality: What We Know and Need to K now about Vouchers and Charter Schools concludes, given the different conditions under w hich charter schools operate, we really do not know much about t he issue of racial segregation in charter schools (Gill, Timpane, Ross, & Brewer, 2001). Because of their complexitiesÂ—they are both public but also independ ent from the public school system, they can choose their students but also nee d to attract students, and they are governed by state charter legislation yet are i nfluenced by their local context and missionÂ—it is difficult to know how to even eva luate charter schools. There has been some research to suggest that black students have a relatively high level of access to charter schools (Wells, et al. 2000). Recent state evaluations have found that even though the aggrega te racial composition of charter schools is similar to host districts, there are great differences at the school level in enrollment compositions (Cobb & Glass, 199 9; Miron, Nelson and Risley, 2002).In this article, we address one key aspect of the m ulti-faceted charter school phenomenon with the following questions: What is the racial/ethnic composition of charter sc hools? What is the average exposure of charter school stud ents to students of other races in their schools? How are charter school students distributed among t he charter schools? Are students more racially isolated in charter scho ols than in public schools? There is strong evidence that many Americans believ e in the importance of integrated education. Sixty percent of blacks in 19 98 and 34% of whites believed that it is Â“absolutely essentialÂ” for schools to Â“h ave a diverse student body with kids from different ethnic and racial backgroundsÂ” (Fark as and Johnson, 1998). Further, a national poll in 1999 reveals that 68% of all res pondents believe that integration had Â“improved the quality of educationÂ” for blacks and 50% believe that it had made
10 of 48 education better for whites. By 1999, almost threefifths of Americans believed that we needed to do more to integrate schools (Gallup, 1999). Certainly there is also substantial support for choice policies; in 1993, 6 5% of the public were in favor of allowing students and parents to choose what school s they attended, regardless of where they lived (Elam, Rose & Gallup, 1993). Howev er, as subsequent discussion will illuminate, despite many parents' preferences for integrated schools and choice policies, many state charter laws are not explicitl y supportive of racial diversity in charter schools.Data and MethodsWe compare the racial composition of charter school s with that of all non-charter public schools by examining who is enrolled in char ter schools and the extent to which they are segregated. Although in 2000-01 char ter schools enrolled fewer than one percent of all public school students in t he country, many of these schools are concentrated in certain areas and states, and c an have a substantial local impact on surrounding public school district enroll ment and racial diversity. We focus on the sixteen states that had total statewid e charter enrollments of at least 5,000 students in 2000-01. Charter students in thes e sixteen states account for 95. 4% of the entire U. S. charter school population. T he data analyzed for this article are from the National Center for Education Statisti cs 2000-01 Common Core of Data (CCD). The CCD is a comprehensive, yearly nati onal dataset of all operational public schools and includes school information on s tudent characteristics such as enrollment and racial counts ( Note 19 ) that are comparable across states and between charter schools ( Note 20 ) and non-charter public schools. In examining issues of charter school segregation, we use several measures to evaluate different school-level dimensions of segre gation. By aggregating the school-level data to the state level we are able to compare charter and public schools within a particular state as well as charte r school segregation across states. The exposure index provides an average pict ure of the interracial exposure of students: the index can be interpreted as the pe rcentage of students of a particular racial group in the school of the averag e student of another group (Massey & Denton, 1988; Orfield, Bachmeier, James & Eitle, 1997; Reardon & Yun, 2002). For example, Michigan's charter school white -black and white-white exposure rates ( Note 21 ) of 16% and 78%, respectively, (Table 8), mean tha t, on average, Michigan's white charter school students a ttend a school where 16% of students are black and 78% of the students are whit e. If students were evenly distributed (e.g., no black-white segregation), all Michigan charter school students would, on average, attend schools that are 54% blac k and 40% white, respectively, a racial composition equal to the proportion of whi te and black students in Michigan's total charter school enrollment (Table 6 ). These exposure indices demonstrate that white charter school students in M ichigan, on average, attend schools that disproportionately enroll high levels of white students and low levels of black students.Examining the exposure index gives us an average pi cture of interracial exposure in charter schools. However, this measure, which is essentially a weighted average of the racial composition of schools of students fr om each race, can mask the
11 of 48 variation and distribution of students in schools. For example, if black exposure to white students in charter schools is 50%, that coul d describe two schools that are both 50% white, or could be one school that is 90% white and one school that is 10% white. These two examples would have very diffe rent implications in terms of the interracial experience of students in charter s chools. To explore the distribution of students in charter school, we examine the conce ntration of students of all races in predominantly minority schools (greater than 50% of the student body is non-white), intensely segregated minority schools ( 90-100% minority), and intensely segregated white schools (90-100% white). Together, these measures portray both the actual level of interracial exposu re i schools as well as the percentage of students attending racially imbalance d and isolated schools. It is important to note that using schools as our u nit of analysis, this article analyzes the racial composition and exposure at the state le vel. Previous studies at the districtand schoollevel have shown that when ex amined in terms of their local contexts (comparing the racial enrollments of chart er schools to that of the surrounding public school district or the closest p ublic school), charter schools are less racially diverse than local public schools and districts (Wells, et. al, 2000; Ascher, Jacobwitz, & McBride, 1999; Cobb & Glass, 1 999). We recognize that the context of where schools are situated locally and h ow districts choose to interpret state charter legislation are important considerati ons that likely influence the outcomes we examine. However, we do not specificall y address that in this article. One reason is because our data do not allow us to e xamine these questions at a more local level. However, it is potentially mislea ding to look at charter schools at the district level, ( Note 22 ) because in many states charters are not necessari ly part of a school district or confined to drawing student s only from surrounding districts. ( Note 23 ) One characteristic common across all charter school s is the statewide nature of charter school legislation. This orientation influe nces the context in which all charter schools throughout the state must operate. In addit ion, who can attend charter schools, how many can be established, and by what m eans they enroll students are just some of the stipulations in charter school legislation that differ widely among states. Demographic contexts of the entire st ate population also vary across the country and these variations can affect the rac ial composition of the students in charter schools. Furthermore, although charter scho ols can enroll students across district and county lines throughout metropolitan a reas, charter schools do not enroll students across state lines. A comparison be tween charter schools and public schools at the state level gives us importan t comparisons of the racial composition and segregation in the small but growin g sector of charter schools within legislatively defined geographic boundaries Our purpose in this article is not to discount the variation that occurs at the distri ctand school-level, but simply to focus on state-level observations of differences in racial composition between public schools and charter schools and how students are distributed among charter schools.FindingsIn the sixteen states with charter school enrollmen ts greater than 5,000, we find that charter schools in most of these states enroll disproportionately high percentages of minority students, particularly Afri can American students. Over half
12 of 48 (56%) of all charter schools in these states are lo cated in central cities. Specifically, we find the following trends for charter school stu dents by race: Seventy percent of all black charter school student s attend intensely segregated minority schools compared with 34% of bl ack public school students. In almost every state studied, the averag e black charter school student attends school with a higher percentage of black students and a lower percentage of white students. White students in every state studied attend school s with a much higher white percentage than their overall share of the charter school population. In many states, however, white charter school students are exposed to substantial percentages of non-white students. Furthermore, the re are pockets of white segregation where white charter school students are as isolated as black charter school students. The pattern for Latino segregation is mixed; on the whole, Latino charter school students are less segregated than their blac k counterparts. In sum, although many of the charter laws require c ompliance with desegregation orders or mandate specific racial/ethnic balance in charter schools, there is little evidence of serious effort at the state level to en sure racial balance.Charter LegislationIn a reform with such a diverse array of schools an d ideologies, one of the few consistencies for the charter schools in a state ar e the state charter school legislation and guidelines under which all schools are supposed to operate. This legislation and regulations vary significantly amon g states. More than half of all states with charter school laws have policies that require charter schools to comply with desegregation standards or reflect student rac ial/ethnic populations in the state (see Table 1). In most cases, the state or local ed ucation agency (usually a school district or the state department of education but c an vary in some states), and not the state itself, authorizes the charter schools an d reviews and regulates the schools.Although the charter school reform is primarily gov erned by policies set by each state, there are federal regulations and programs t hat may also affect the composition of the student body of charter schools. In 1994, a new federal grant program was implemented to support charter schools as part of the Improving America's Schools Act. ( Note 24 ) Charter schools can receive funding through federal programs such as, the Eisenhower Profession al Development Program, the Safe and Drug Free Schools Act, and the Perkins Occ upational Education Act. However, federal funding can only be used if charte r schools comply with federal civil rights statutes such as Title VI. NCLB provid es funding to schools with high levels of student poverty (formerly known as Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) Â—but accepting NCLB money means that these schools must comply with federal civil rights provisions. ( Note 25 ) Likewise, althoug states individually pass their own charter legislation, if charter schools receive money from the federal Public Charter Schools Program, they ar e required to use a lottery to admit students in the event that there are more app licants than available slots for the school.
13 of 48 Courts have held that in school districts under fed eral court desegregation orders, charter schools will not be allowed to impede compl iance with a court's or administrative entity's desegregation plan. ( Note 26 ) However, even in this instance, the federal guidelines as to the responsi bilities of charter schools in such situations are unclear, at best. ( Note 27 ) Moreover, there is not a general framework to support such efforts. Charter schools are often given little support in implementing these guidelines, and in general, ther e is not a framework to support those who value racially diverse schools (Wells, 20 02). ( Note 28 ) Of all states with charter school legislation, nine teen states have specific racial/ethnic balance enrollment guidelines for the ir charter schools (Table 1). ( Note 29 ) Without these rules, charters have little incenti ve to maintain racial/ethnic balance in their schools. Two of the four states wi th the largest enrollment of charter school students (Arizona and Texas) have no racial/ethnic guidelines. There are also some states that include equity prov isionsÂ—such as providing free transportation to all students or requiring informa tion to be widely availableÂ—that are important in ensuring that students from all ba ckgrounds are truly able to choose to enroll in charter schools. Nine states wi th racial balance policies are included in the state-level analysis of this articl e (those states with charter enrollment greater than 5,000). Interestingly, six of the nine states in our analysis that have specific racial/ethnic guidelines are sou thern states. ( Note 30 ) Among the seven southern states in our group of sixteen state s with at least 5,000 charter students, only Georgia has no racial balance provis ion. Moreover, the language of the racial/ethnic balance provisions varies from state to state. In some states, general guidelines regarding non-discrimination on the basis of race is used; fewer than ten states require comp liance with desegregation orders. We find that despite the specific racial/et hnic balance guidelines in charter legislation, many states still have racially imbala nced enrollments. Because many state regulations call for district proportionality and this analysis is primarily state-level, more research is needed at the distric t level to determine the impact of the guidelines. Perhaps even state charter laws wit h racial/ethnic balance language are still too weak; without other equity provisions built in to this market-based reform, charter schools are unlikely to overcome th e persistent segregation of our larger society.Table 1Racial/Ethnic Guidelines in State Charter School Le gislation, 2003(Enrollment 2000-01)StateEnrollmentCharter LegislationAlaska2,594 State law contains no discrimination provisions oth er than general non-discrimination provision. Arizona45,596 State law contains no discrimination provisions oth er than general non-discrimination provision. Arkansas708 Charters in districts under court-ordered desegrega tion plans must use a weighted lottery in student selection as well as issues relative to funding.
14 of 48 California112,065 Charter must specify means by which a school's stud ent body will reflect racial and ethnic balance of the general po pulation living in the school district granting the charter. Colorado20,155 A charter school shall be subject to any court-orde red desegregation plan in effect for the school district in which it operates. Connecticut2,429 Charter must specify procedures to promote a divers e student body and state board will give preference to granting charte rs in districts that have 75% or more minority students. Delaware2,716 Charter school may not be formed to circumvent a co urt-ordered desegregation plan. District of Columbia ** State law contains no discrimination provisions oth er than general non-discrimination provision. Florida26,893 Racial/ethnic balance of charter school may not dif fer from district or community. Georgia20,066 State law contains no discrimination provisions oth er than general non-discrimination provision. Hawaii1,343 Charter must include plan for identifying, recruiti ng, and selecting students to make certain that student participation is not exclusive, elitist, or segregative. Idaho1,083 State law contains no discrimination provisions oth er than general non-discrimination provision. Illinois7,552 State law contains no discrimination provisions oth er than general non-discrimination provision. Indiana0 Charter school must have plan for compliance with a ny applicable desegregation order. Iowa0 State law contains no discrimination provisions oth er than general non-discrimination provision. Kansas67 Pupils in attendance at the school must be reasonab ly reflective of the racial and socio-economic composition of the school district as a whole. Louisiana3,212Must comply with any desegregation or der/regulation. Massachusetts13,712 State law contains no discrimination provisions oth er than general non-discrimination provision. Michigan54,751Must comply with any desegregation re quirements. Minnesota9,395 If the charter school reflects the racial and ethni c diversity of the area, it may limit admission to a geographic area of greater than average non-white population. Mississippi367 State law contains no discrimination provisions oth er than general non-discrimination provision. Missouri7,061 Admit district residents provided that such prefere nces do not result in the establishment of racially or socio-economically isolated schools. Nevada1,255 Racial balance of charter school may not differ fro m district by more than 10%. New Hampshire 0 State law contains no discrimination provisions oth er than general non-discrimination provision. New Jersey10,179 Charter must have a plan to enroll cross-section of school-aged population including racial and academic factors. C ommissioner of Education must assess whether charter will have seg regative effect on district of residence of the charter school, and af ter the charter is
15 of 48 operating, Commissioner must assess whether charter has a segregative effect on other districts sending pupil s to the charter. New Mexico1,335 State law contains no discrimination provisions oth er than general non-discrimination provision. New York*** State law contains no discrimination provisions oth er than general non-discrimination provision. North Carolina15,523 After one year, charter school must reasonably refl ect racial balance of district, and the school will be subject to any cou rt-ordered desegregation plan in effect for the school distric t in which it operates. Ohio14,745 Community school shall achieve racial and ethnic ba lancereflective of the community it serves. Oklahoma1,208 Charter school may not admit student who resides in school district under court desegregation order or relevant US Depa rtment of Education OCR agreement if resident school district notifies charter school that admission of said student would violate order or agreement. Oregon559 State law contains no discrimination provisions oth er than general non-discrimination provision. Pennsylvania18,981 School district may not approve charter application if charter school would place the school district out of compliance w ith a desegregation order of a federal or state court order or a state human relations commission order. Rhode Island557 Charter school must have a program to encourage the enrollment of a diverse student population, and the makeup of the s chool must be reflective of the population of the district. South Carolina483 Racial composition of charter school enrollment may differ by no more than twenty percent from school district or targete d student population, but local school district may find charter school n ot operating in racially discriminatory manner without regard to twenty perc ent requirement. Tennessee0 State law contains no discrimination provisions oth er than general non-discrimination provision. Texas37,978 State law contains no discrimination provisions oth er than general non-discrimination provision. Utah537 State law contains no discrimination provisions oth er than general non-discrimination provision. Virginia55Charter must comply with any desegregatio n orders/regulations. Wisconsin9,511Racial balance of charter school may not differ from district. Wyoming0 Racial balance of charter school may not differ fro m district, and the means by which this balance is to be achieved must be specified in charter. Note: Some states as of 2000-01 had passed charter school legislation but there were no charter school s yet operational. Thus, some states (e. g. New Hampshi re) have no enrollment as of 2000-01. Source: Statu tes concerning charter schools are found using Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis. The specific citations are availab le upon request from the authors.** In 2000-01 District of Columbia had 33 charter s chools, but did not report student data to NCES. ***In 2000-01, New York had 38 charter schools, but did not report student data to NCES.National Trends ( Note 31 )While they can mask considerable variation among th e states' implementation of the charter school reform, national statistics prov ide a helpful background in which
16 of 48 to consider charter school students and their distr ibution among schools. In the 34 states with charter schools in 2000-01, less than h alf (43%) of all charter schools students were white. Another one-third (33%) were b lack and one-fifth (19%) were Latino. Asian and Native American students make up a very small percentage of the charter school enrollment. The national non-cha rter public school population has a much higher percentage of white students (a d ifference of sixteen percentage points) and a lower percentage of black students than charter schools (Table 2). ( Note 32 ) The percentage of black students in charter schoo ls is almost twice the total black public school enrollment. The share of Latino students in charter schools versus public schools is comparable The fraction of Asian students in charter schools is slightly less than their prop ortion of the total public school population, while that of Native Americans is sligh tly more. Table 2Enrollment and Racial Composition of Charter and Pu blic Schools, 2000-01 EnrollmentWhite(%)Black(%)Latino(%)Asian(%)Native A merican (%) Charter444,82543331932Public36,116,86059171941Almost ninety percent of black charter school stude nts are in predominantly minority schools where minority students are more t han 50% of the student body (see Table 3). Seventy percent of all black charter school students, over 100,000 students, are in 90-100% minority charter schools. This number is striking when compared to the 34 percent of black public school s tudents who attend 90-100 % minority schools. Although the public school figure (34%) is the highest it has been in three decades, the charter school distribution s uggests even more segregation. ( Note 33 ) These numbers indicate that black students are no t only disproportionately over-enrolled in charter schools but that they are enrolled at a much higher rate than other black public school stu dents in intensely segregated minority schools.White charter school students are also more likely to be in predominantly minority and intensely segregated minority schools than whit e public school students. The percentage of white students in such schools, howev er, is much lower than students of any other race, in both charter and public schools. ( Note 34 ) Higher percentages of Latino and Asian charter school stud ents attend intensely segregated minority schools than their public schoo l peers, but their rates of attendance in predominantly minority schools are si milar. Table 3Percentage of Charter and Public School Students in Segregated Minority Schools, by Race/Ethnicity, 2000-01 Charter Public 50-100% Minority90-100% Minority 50-100% Minority9 0-100% Minority White172 131
17 of 48 Black8970 7134Latino7842 7737Asian5721 5614Native American6545 4719Eighty-three percent of white charter school studen ts are in majority white schools (Table 4). About one-fifth (22%) of all white chart er school students nationwide are in schools that have a student body that is more th an 90% white, a rather high percentage due to the fact that the majority of stu dents in charter schools are minority students.Not surprisingly, given their high concentration in minority schools, black charter school students are the least commonly found in pre dominantly and intensely segregated white schools. Ten percent of black char ter school students attend majority white schools and only about one percent i s in 90-100% white charter schools. These rates are substantially lower than t hose of students of other racial groups except Latinos. Interestingly, Latino studen ts are the most segregated from whites in public schools, but Latino charter studen tsÂ—while still highly segregated from white studentsÂ—are less segregated than black charter students. Just over one-fifth (22%) of all Latino charter school studen ts are in majority white schools, twice the percentage of black students in such scho ols. While Native American public school students are exposed to a higher shar e of white students than students of any other minority group, in charter sc hools, Asian students are more commonly enrolled in white schools than other minor ity students. Table 4Percentage of Charter and Public School Students in Segregated White Schools, by Race/Ethnicity, 2000-01 Charter Public 50-100% White90-100% White 50-100% White90-100% Wh ite White8322 8839Black111 292Latino221 232Asian435 446Native American 363 548Nationally, the average white charter school studen t attends a school that is 72% white. White exposure to black and Latino students is fairly even: the percentage of black and Latino students in the average white char ter student's school is 12 and 11 percent, respectively (see Table 5). White expos ure to other racial minorities is low, in part due to the small percentages of Asian and Native American students attending charter schools.On average, black and Hispanic students are disprop ortionately exposed to higher percentages of students of their own race in charte r schools. For example, the average black charter school student attends a scho ol that is 73% black and only 14 percent white. The percentages of Latino and whi te students in the charter
18 of 48 school of the average Latino are 52% and 26%, respe ctively. Perhaps due to their low enrollment in charter schools, Asians and Nativ e Americans are exposed to more whites than are either black or Latino student s. Table 5Racial Composition of Schools of the Average Charte r School Student, by Race/Ethnicity, 2000-01Percent Race in Each Charter School Racial Composition of Charter School Attended by Av erage: White Student Black Student Latino Student Asian Student Native American Student % White7215264332% Black117318167% Latino1211521911% Asian313202% Native American10. 41148Total999910099100Note: Totals may not add to 100 due to rounding.In sum, at the national level, blacks are over-enro lled and whites are under-enrolled in charter schools relative to public school enroll ment. Black charter school students are overwhelmingly found in intensely segr egated minority schools, and are more segregated from white students than black public school students. However, for white charter school students, the sto ry is quite different. Because whites make up a relatively small percentage of the charter school population, they are exposed to more blacks and Latinos and to fewer white students in charter schools than in the public schools at the national level. ( Note 35 ) For Latino students, at the national level, public and charter school segregation rates are similar.Because aggregation of racial composition and segre gation at the national level can obscure more localized variation, it is also im portant to see how these trends vary by state between charter and public schools. T he over-enrollment of black students in charter schools indicates segregation b etween charter schools and public schools; therefore, it is important to also examine the distribution of students within the charter sector. This paper, then, looks at each of these issues in turn.State-Level Trends: Racial CompositionIn 2000-01 there were sixteen states with at least 5,000 students in charter schools, but the number of students enrolled in these school s and the racial composition of the schools varied widely across states. California the most populous state, has the largest charter school population with over 100 ,000 students in charter schools during 2000-01. On the other end of the spectrum, t here are 18 states whose charter school enrollment totals less than 5,000 an d are not included in our state-level analysis. Of the sixteen states with su bstantial charter school enrollment, nine have guidelines specifying racial balance in t he state charter school legislation (see Table 1 above for racial/ethnic balance guidel ines in all states with charter
19 of 48 legislation).Among all public school students, only six states h ave a majority non-white student body (Frankenberg, Lee & Orfield, 2003). For charte r school students, the picture is very different: only six of the states with a subst antial charter population have a majority of the charter school enrollment that is white (see Table 6). In fact, six states have charter enrollments that are more than 50% black. Eight states have at least 15% of the charter school enrollment composed of Latino students. Asian students account for a very small percentage of stu dents enrolled in charter schools; only in California and Minnesota are Asian enrollments greater than 5% of the total charter population. The Native American p opulation is also small in all states except Minnesota and Arizona. ( Note 36 ) Table 6Enrollment and Racial Composition of Charter School s by States with more than 5,000 Charter School Students, 2000-01 StateState TotalWhite (%)Black (%)Latino (%)Asian ( %)Native American (%) Arizona45,5965682728California112,06542183451Colorado20,1557471621Florida26,89350311810Georgia20,0666428630Illinois7,5529682310Massachusetts13,71254271531Michigan54,7514054411Minnesota9,39552235156Missouri7,061985510New Jersey10,17912711520North Carolina15,5235343211Ohio14,7452573100Pennsylvania18,9813061810Texas37,97820413710Wisconsin9,5114838851In the sixteen states included in this study, chart er schools were predominantly located in cities. Table 7 displays the location of charter school students in each of the sixteen states, ranked by percentage of white c harter students in each state. ( Note 37 ) States with higher percentages of charter school students in cities were less likely to have large white enrollments, simila r to trends in large central city public school districts. ( Note 38 ) Overall more than half of the charter school students in these sixteen states attended schools t hat were located in central cities (56%) while a third (34%) were in schools located i n suburban areas. Missouri (100%), Ohio (98%), Illinois (94%), and Texas (87%) had the highest proportion of their charter school students in cities and were fo ur of the five states with the lowest percentage of white students of their total charter enrollment. Charter schools in
20 of 48 these four states educated almost one-sixth of all charter school students. Only three states, Florida (52%), Georgia (63%), and Col orado (46%) had greater percentages of their charter school students enroll ed in schools in suburbs than in cities. ( Note 39 ) Generally, as can be seen from Figure 1, states w ith the lowest proportion of white students in their charter schoo ls also had the highest proportions of their charter school students in cen tral city schools while states with the highest proportion of white charter school stud ents were those that have higher proportion of charter school students enrolled in s uburban areas. Table 7Percentage of Charter Schools by Location and State 2000-01 (Ranked by Percent White)StateWhite (%)Urban (%)Suburban (%)Rural (%) Illinois99442Missouri910000New Jersey1261372Texas2087113Ohio259820Pennsylvania3075232Michigan40503911California42474310Wisconsin4879147Florida50335215Minnesota52672112North Carolina53452727Massachusetts5464297Arizona5658339Georgia6496328Colorado74444611Percent of Total 563410
21 of 48 Note: States with zero percent of charter schools in a gi ven location may have less than three bars. For example, 100% of Missouri's ch arter schools are in urban areas, so there is no suburban or rural bar for Mis souri. As mentioned above, the demographics of the states' populations and public school enrollments vary widely. Thus, we examine how the s tate's charter school racial composition compares to the state's public school e nrollment by race. In almost every instance, the white percentage of charter sch ool students is smaller than in public schools. In ten of these states, the white p ercentage in public schools is at least twenty percentage points higher than the whit e share of total enrollment in charter schools. Half of these states are Midwester n states. Missouri shows the starkest contrast between public and charter white enrollment: the white percentage of the public school enrollment is more than eight times greater than the white charter school proportion. ( Note 40 ) Four states have a greater proportion of white students in charter schools than in public schools (see Figure 2).
22 of 48 The reverse trend holds for black enrollment: in ev ery state except Georgia, charter schools have a higher black enrollment share than p ublic schools (see Figure 3). For example, in New Jersey, Ohio, and Missouri, alt hough black students are less than 20% of total public school enrollment, black s tudents make up more than 70% of charter students in these states, despite specif ic racial guidelines in the state charter legislation in all three states. Interestin gly, Georgia has the highest black percentage of total public school enrollment and is the only state in which charter schools disproportionately enroll a lower proportio n of black students. In most states, the differences between Latino publ ic and charter school enrollment are far smaller than for white and black students ( see Figure 4). The largest
23 of 48 difference is in California, where the Latino porti on of charter school enrollment (34%) is ten percentage points lower than the Latin o portion of public school enrollment (44%). The states with the largest under -enrollment of Latino students in charter schools (California, Arizona, and Colorado) are all in the West. Exposure to Students of Other RacesWe have already documented that charter schools, wh en compared to public schools at the state level, disproportionately enro ll higher percentages of black students and lower percentages of white students re lative to non-charter public schools, which suggests that segregation between ch arter and public schools exists both nationally and state by state. It is critical to more closely examine these distributions, to see whether students are enrolled evenly across charter schools or whether they are isolated in schools with students of their own race. One commonly used measure of segregation is the exposure index, which describes racial composition of the school attended by the typical s tudent of a given race. White Student ExposureWithin charter school sector As seen in Table 8, white students in every state a ttend schools with a much higher white percentage than their overall share of the ch arter school population. For example, although Missouri's white charter students are exposed to a lower percentage of white students (23% on average), this is more than twice the white share of charter enrollment (9%). Even in states wh ere they are only a small percentage of charter school enrollment, whites are generally concentrated in schools with other white students and substantially isolated from students of other races. For example, in Illinois, Texas, and Ohio, w here less than one in four charter school students is white, the average white charter student attends a school where
24 of 48 more than 50% of the student body is white (Table 8 ). The isolation of white students in Illinois is particularly marked. Despit e white students comprising less than 9% of the overall charter enrollment, the typi cal white student is in a school which is 54% white, a percentage that is six times higher than the white share of the state's charter school enrollment.As a result of these relatively high levels of whit e isolation in charter schools, white students, in general, are exposed to lower percenta ges of students from other racial groups than would be expected by enrollment share alone. Except in four states with the highest black enrollment share (i. e. Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, and Ohio), the average white student attends a char ter school where fewer than one in five students is black. Even in states where over half the charter school population is black, white students, on average, at tend schools with more white students than black students. In Michigan, where ov er half (54%) of charter students are black, the average white student is ex posed to five times as many white students as black students (white students, o n average, attend charter schools that have 16% black students and 78% white students). In most state, white exposure to Latino students in charter schools is lower than white exposure to black students, which might be du e to the lower enrollment of Latino students in charter schools in some states. The four exceptions are in the West (Texas, California, Arizona, and Colorado). In ten states the average white charter school student attends a school with less t han 10% Latino students. The high isolation of white charter school students in Illinois, however, prevents substantial white exposure to Latinos despite a rel atively high charter school enrollment of Latinos. Illinois has the fourth high est percentage of Latino students in charter schools (23%); yet the average white stu dent in Illinois attends a school that is only 9% Latino.Charter vs. public schools Regardless of the type of school (i. e. charter o r public), the average white student attends a school with a higher proportion of white students than the state's aggregate percentage of white students, which sugge sts some sort of segregation mechanism at work. ( Note 41 ) However, as noted above, white charter students i n ten states are less isolated than public school stu dents. This could be due to a lower percentage of white students enrolled in char ter schools than public schools in these states, which would make it more difficult to create schools that were predominantly white. However, in states where the w hite share of total enrollment is similar in both public and charter schools ( Note 42 ) (California, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, and Georgia), the average white charter student is equally as isolated or more isolated in schools with other whi te students than the average white public school student. This provides support to the contention that it is not that charter schools are inherently doing a better job of integrating students, but rather that low white enrollments are responsible f or the lower levels of white racial isolation in charter schools in most states. ( Note 43 ) In terms of white students' exposure to minorities in charter versus public schools, white students in most states, on average, are more exposed to black students in charter schools than in public schools. In fact, th e average white charter school student in all states except Colorado, Florida, Nor th Carolina, and Georgia has
25 of 48 greater exposure to black students (see Table 8) th an does the average white public school student. This could be due to the dis proportionately high enrollment of black students in charter schools.There are few differences between public and charte r schools for white exposure to Latino students. In four statesÂ—mainly in the WestÂ— white exposure to Latinos is lower in charter schools, than in public schools. H owever, these differences tend to be small.Table 8White Exposure in Public and Charter Schools, by St ate, 2000-01StatesPercent WhiteWhite Isolation White Exposure to Blacks White Exposure to Latinos CharterPublicCharterPublicCharterPublicCharterPubl ic Illinois960548234797Missouri980239070862New Jersey12614679338167Texas2042536519102522Ohio2581649133721Pennsylvania3079759019642Michigan4075788916553California42366758752026Wisconsin4881768913473Florida5054716915171212Minnesota528383897433North Carolina53617971182214Massachusetts5476798611476Arizona56537470541621Georgia64557872152244Colorado74688177441215Minority Student IsolationWithin the charter school sector Black charter students are heavily isolated in over whelmingly black schools. This could be due partially due to their disproportionat ely high enrollment in charter schools relative to non-charter public schools. How ever, black isolation indices are well above proportional representation (e. g. bla ck share of total enrollment), which suggest something in the structure of charter school enrollment that acts to segregate black students, such as the large percent age of charter schools located in central cities. The exposure and isolation indic es for black and Latino students in charter and public schools are presented in Table 9 Except in two states (Arizona and Colorado), black charter school students, on av erage, attend majority black
26 of 48 charter schools. In almost half of the states, the average black charter student attends a school that is at least three-quarters bl ack. Illinois provides an interesting example. In Illinois, 68% of the charter school enr ollment is black and the typical black charter student's school is 77% black. Despit e the fact that whites comprise fewer than 9 percent of Illinois's charter school p opulation, however, the average white charter student's school is 54% white and onl y 34% black (Table 8). Latino charter school enrollment patterns are mixed In only eight of the sixteen states analyzed, Latinos comprise a higher percenta ge of the total charter school enrollment than the state's public school enrollmen t. In some states (Texas, California, Arizona, and Pennsylvania) there are re latively high levels of Latino isolation for the average Latino charter school stu dent. Latino students in Texas experience the highest isolation of all Latino char ter students with the typical Latino charter student attending schools where two-thirds of the student body is Latino. In most states, however, Latinos are less racially iso lated than either black or white charter school students.Charter vs. public schools Not surprisingly, given the higher proportion of bl ack students enrolled in charter schools when compared to public schools, the averag e black charter school student is more isolated than his or her public sch ool counterpart. Georgia is the only state (Table 9) in which black students are le ss isolated, on average, in charter schools than in public schools. This could be due t o the fact that of all states, Georgia has the lowest percentage of charter school students in central cities (see Table 6). Whereas in eight states, black public sch ool students attend schools where black students compose more than half of the student body, the typical black charter school student attends a majority black sch ool in fourteen states. The pattern of segregation for Latino charter schoo l students is more varied: in six states (Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota Missouri, and Pennsylvania), Latino students are more isolated in charter school s than in public schools. For example, the schools of the average Latino charter school student in Minnesota have three times as many Latino students as those o f their Latino public school counterparts. However, there are also eight states in which Latino charter students are less isolated than Latino public school student s. Overall, there is no clear pattern for Latino charter school student isolation Table 9Minority Isolation in Public and Charter Schools, b y Race/Ethnicity and by State, 2000-01(Ranked by Percent White of Charter S chool Students) State Black Isolation (Black/Black Exposure) Latino Isolation (Latino/Latino Exposure) Charter SchoolsPublic Schools Charter SchoolsPubli c Schools Illinois7770 4355Missouri8861 2110New Jersey8352 3445Texas7240 6666Ohio8863 514
27 of 48 Pennsylvania8660 5234Michigan8674 2522California5124 5563Wisconsin7358 2425Florida6648 4946Minnesota7032 3913North Carolina7648 711Massachusetts6034 4339Arizona269 5257Georgia5564 1319Colorado3025 3143Minority Student Exposure to White StudentsWithin the charter school sector Given the relatively high percentage of black stude nts in charter schools and the levels of black isolation, we would expect to see l ow black exposure to whites in charter schools. It is surprising that even in stat es where there are more white students than black students in charter schools (e. g. California, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Florida), the average black charter school student still attends schools with three to four times more black students than whites (see Table 9 and Table 10). For example, in Minnesota, w here black students comprise fewer than one-quarter (23%) of all charter student s (Table 6), the average black charter school student attends a school that is 70% black (Table 9) and only 17% white (Table 10). The average white student attends a school with a very different racial composition, one that is 83% white and only 7% black (Table 8). In every state, Latino charter school students expe rience similar, or greater, exposure to white students when compared to the bla ck charter school students. There are five states in which the average Latino c harter school student attends school where there are at least 40% white students. While this could be due to the fact that in most states there is a much larger bla ck share of charter school students than Latino students, we see that in state s such as Texas, where the Latino and black student composition is similar (37 % and 41%, respectively), the average Latino student attends a school with a grea ter percentage of white students (14% versus 9%, respectively).Charter vs. public schools When comparing charter schools to public schools fo r minority students, in every state except Georgia (which as mentioned earlier, i s the only state in which black charter student isolation is lower than black publi c student isolation), black exposure to whites is higher in public schools than in charter schools (see Table 10). Black students in the public schools of these fifteen states, on average, attend schools with substantially higher proportions of wh ite students than the average black charter school student. In Illinois, both bla ck charter and public school students have the lowest exposure to whites than in any of the sixteen states. Whereas the state's black public school student exp osure to white students is just
28 of 48 under 20%, black charter school student exposure to white students is only 4%. In eleven states, the average Latino student has lo wer exposure to white students in charter schools than public schools, and in some states they are substantially less exposed to white students than in public schoo ls. For example, in Texas, a Latino public school student attends a school, whic h is, on average, 23% white; the typical Latino charter school student in this state has just over 14% white students in his or her school.Table 10Minority Student Exposure to White Students in Char ter and Public Schools, by Race/Ethnicity and State, 2000-01 (Ranked by Per cent White of Charter Students)StateBlack/White Exposure Latino/White Exposure Charter SchoolsPublic Schools Charter SchoolsPubli c Schools Illinois419 329Missouri735 1169North Carolina2144 4053Texas929 1423Ohio1134 3564Pennsylvania930 1641Michigan1121 4359California1624 2521Wisconsin1630 4054Florida2536 3433Minnesota1745 3166New Jersey526 1229Massachusetts2240 2640Arizona3544 3433Georgia3631 4946Colorado3944 5446In summary, the exposure and isolation indices sugg est that, due to the disproportionately high enrollment of blacks and un der-enrollment of white students in charter schools when compared with public school enrollment, the average white charter student attends a school with more minority students than the average white public school student. Conversely, because of the small proportion of whites, the average blackÂ— and to a certain extent, the ave rage LatinoÂ— student is generally more isolated in charter schools than in public schools. Although white isolation among public school students is the highe st, among charter school students, black isolation is as high as white isola tion. Even in states in which white enrollment is higher than black enrollment in chart er schools, blacks still attend schools with three to four times the number of whit e students. Latino charter school student segregation from white students is lower th an that of black charter
29 of 48 students, and is not uniformly more segregated in c omparison to public school students in these states. While Latino charter stud ent exposure to whites is higher than blacks, in most states it is still lower than that of Latino public school students.Racial SegregationBecause the exposure index only shows what the aver age student experiences, we now turn to other segregation measures that examine how students are distributed across schools. To gain a clearer picture of the di stribution of charter school students, we examine the percentage of students of each race that attend predominantly minority schools, intensely segregate d minority schools, and intensely segregated white schools.Predominantly Minority Charter SchoolsWithin the charter school sector The proportion of white, black, and Latino students attending charter and public schools where more than 50% of the student body is minority is presented in Table 11. The white share of enrollment in both charter a nd public schoolsÂ—as well as the difference in white enrollment between the twoÂ— are in columns 1 to 3. For example, 9% of Illinois's charter school enrollment is white and 60% of its public school enrollment is white, a difference of 51 perc entage points. Columns 4 to 6 show the percent of white, black, and Latino studen ts who are enrolled in charter schools that are predominantly minority. In Illinoi s, 32% of white charter school students, 98% of black charter students, and almost all Latino charter school students are enrolled in 50-100% minority schools. As columns 7 to 9 show, 8% of whites, 82% of blacks, and 74% of Latinos attend 50 -100% minority public schools in Illinois. Regardless of race, a higher percentag e of charter school students attend predominantly minority schools when compared to public school students, which is not surprising given the much smaller perc entage of white students in charter schools than in public schools in Illinois.As discussed above, charter schools in twelve of th e sixteen states enroll, in aggregate, a lower percentage of white students tha n public schools. In some states, these differences are stark. As column 4 sh ows, low percentages of white students in many states attend predominantly minori ty charter schools, regardless of the white share of enrollment. For example, char ter school enrollment in Pennsylvania is 30% white, yet only 13% of white ch arter school students attend predominantly minority schools (Table 11). In fact, ten of the sixteen states have fewer than one-fifth of white charter school studen ts attending predominantly minority schools. However, there are variations. In New Jersey, white charter school students are exposed to large proportions of students from other racial groups: 61% of white charter students in the state attend predominantly minority charter schools. This could be due to the small per centage of whites in charter schools (12%). Yet, in Illinois, a state with small er proportion of white students in charter schools (9%), only 32% of white students at tend predominantly minority charter schools, which seems to indicate that the c harter school segregation of whites and blacks in Illinois is more extreme than in New Jersey. For black students there is less variation in the p ercentage attending predominantly
30 of 48 minority schools: in virtually every state there is a majorityÂ—and often an overwhelming majorityÂ—of black charter school stude nts that attend schools with at least 50% minority students, regardless of the whit e proportion of the state's charter school enrollment (see column 5). In fact, in half of the sixteen states, over 90% of black students attend predominantly minority school s. This may be due to the low white charter enrollment in some of these states. H owever, even in some states where at least half of the charter school populatio n is white (e. g. Arizona, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Minneso ta), at least three out of every five black students attend predominantly mino rity charter schools. In the case of Colorado, where 74% of the charter school enroll ment is white, almost 60% of black students attend predominantly minority school s. Minnesota and North Carolina, states with racial guidelines in their ch arter legislation and where over 50% of the charter school enrollment is comprised o f whites, have an overwhelming percentage of black students attend predominantly m inority charter schools (91% and 83%, respectively).As shown in column 6, Latino-white charter school s egregation is less severe than black-white student segregation but is still high. For example, 60% of Latino charter students in North Carolina attend predominantly min ority schools, whereas 83% of black charter school students attend such schools. By contrast, only 11% of white charter school students attend predominantly minori ty schools. Except in two states (Georgia and Colorado), at least half of Latino cha rter school students are in predominantly minority schools. In most states, how ever, a lower share of Latino charter students are in predominantly minority scho ols than are black charter school students.Charter vs. public schools Comparing the enrollment rates of predominantly min ority charter schools (columns 4 to 6) to that of predominantly minority public sc hools (columns 7 to 9) illustrates that in a majority of states, regardless of race, s tudents are more likely to attend predominantly minority charter schools than predomi nantly minority public schools. This is especially true for black students. A highe r proportion of blacks attend predominantly minority charter schools than public schools in all except two states (Georgia and Colorado). For Latino students, this i s true in all except five states (California, Florida, Arizona, Georgia, and Colorad o) (see Table 11). One possible explanation could be the relatively higher enrollme nt of white students in charter schools in these states by comparison to other stat es. In most states with lower white charter school enrollment than white public s chool enrollment, a higher percentage of white charter school students than wh ite public school students are enrolled in predominantly minority schools.Table 11Percentage of Charter and Public School Students in Predominantly Minority Schools by Race/Ethnicity and by State, 2000-01(Ran ked by Percent White of Charter School Students)State White Share of School Enrollment 50-100% MinorityCharter School Enrollment Rate 50-100% MinorityPublic School Enrollment Rate
31 of 48 Charter (1) Public (2) Charter-Public Difference (3) White (4) Black (5) Latino (6) White (7) Black (8) Latino (9) Illinois960-51329810088274Missouri980-7110010010036626New Jersey1261-4961989897574Texas2042-22489795247583Ohio2581-5630946947033Pennsylvania3079-4913928537064Michigan4075-3512915738239California42366238882348687Wisconsin4881-3317897137242Florida5054-4177968166471Minnesota5283-3112917245930North Carolina5361-8118360165945Massachusetts5476-2218898366764Arizona56533106265175572Georgia64559106750167256Colorado7468645635105754Intensely Segregated Minority SchoolsWithin the charter school sector Examining the distribution of students in intensely segregated minority schools, it becomes even more apparent how isolated minority st udents are in charter schools. ( Note 44 ) The percentage of white, black, and Latino studen ts that are attending charter and public schools where more tha n 90% of the student body is minority is shown in Table 12. Columns 1 to 3 show the white share of enrollment in both charter and public schools. The percentage of white, black, and Latino students who are enrolled in intensely segregated m inority charter schools are in columns 4 to 6, and the share of students by race e nrolled in intensely segregated minority public schools are in columns 7 to 9. For example, Massachusetts, a state where white students comprise 54% of total enrollme nt in its charter schools, has 2% of white charter students, 56% of black charter students, and 40% of Latino charter students attending intensely segregated min ority charter schools. In Massachusetts' publi schools, which have a greater percentage of white students enrolled compared to charter schools, a lower perce ntage of all students are in intensely segregated minority schools. Less than on e-half of one percent of white public school students, twenty-three percent of bla ck students and 18% of Latino students are attend these intensely segregated mino rity schools. As column 4 shows, low percentages of white charter students are in intensely segregated minority charter schools. Except in thre e states (Illinois, Missouri, and New Jersey), fewer than 10% of white students in ch arter schools attend 90-100% segregated minority schools. Even in states where t he white share of charter
32 of 48 enrollment is very low, such as Illinois (9%) and M issouri (9%), only 25% and 21% of white students, respectively, attend these inten sely segregated minority charter schools (see Table 12). However, if students were e venly distributed in Illinois charter schools, for example, every school would be 9% white and thus all white charter students (as well as all minority charter s chool students) would be attending the intensely segregated minority schools.In every state except Arizona, Georgia, and Colorad o, at least half of black charter school students attend 90-100% minority schools (se e column 5 in Table 12). A striking example is Pennsylvania, where 80% of blac k charter school students attend intensely segregated minority schools.Latino charter school students experience higher se gregation than that of whites and lower segregation than blacks (column 6). Five states have more than half of Latino charter school students in intensely segrega ted minority schools. However, except for Illinois, the attendance of Latino stude nts at 90-100% minority schools, while still high, is less severe than that of black s. In Minnesota, the first state to enact a charter law (which includes racial/ethnic b alance guidelines), and a state with very high white charter school enrollment, dem onstrates high levels of charter segregation for minority students with roughly two out of every three black and two out of every five Latino charter school students at tending intensely segregated schools.Part of this segregation may be due to the higher p ercentage of minority students enrolled in charter schools, which results in more predominantly minority schools. But the racial disparities among these schools sugg est that there is another factor aside from the racial composition in the state's ch arter schools that is driving these numbers. For example, as we have seen earlier, even if they are a small proportion of students in charter schools, whites are not as l ikely as black and Latino students to attend heavily minority schools. This indicates that the over-enrollment of minority students in charter schools is more likely to result in highly segregated schools for minorities than for whites. These trend s of disproportionately high enrollment of minority students in intensely segreg ated schools could also be due to the fact that some of the charter schools are lo cated in segregated central city neighborhoods. It is worth remembering, however, th at charter schools as schools of choice are not limited to neighborhoods or even public school districts, but can draw students from a larger geographical area.Charter vs. public schools Charter school students across all racial groups in most of the sixteen states are more likely to attend intensely segregated minority schools than are public school students (see columns 4 to 9). In both sectors, how ever, attendance at such schools differs substantially by race. In every sta te, a higher percentage of black students in charter schools than in public schools are enrolled in intensely segregated schools (see Table 12). In California, A rizona, and Texas, the three states with the largest charter school enrollment, black charter school students are attending intensely segregated charter schools at r ates almost two times higher than black public school students. In Illinois, Mis souri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and North Carolina, the share of black s tudents attending intensely segregated charter schools is more than thirty perc entage points greater than those in intensely segregated minority public schools. Of these states, North Carolina,
33 of 48 Missouri, New Jersey, and Minnesota have racial gui delines in their charter legislation.In all states, regardless of the type of school (i. e. charter or public), fewer than 25% of white students attend 90-100% minority schoo ls. It is worth noting that a higher percentage of white charter school students than white public school students are in intensely segregated minority schoo ls in twelve of sixteen states. In three states, fewer than one percent of white chart er school students are in 90-100% minority schools.Table 12Percentage of Charter and Public School Students in Intensely Segregated Minority Schools, by Race/Ethnicity and by State, 2 000-01 (Ranked by Percent White of Charter School Students)State White Share of School Enrollment 90-100% MinoritySchool Enrollment Rate 90-100% MinorityPublic School Enrollment Rate Charter (1) Public (2) Charter-Public Difference (3) White (4) Black(5) Latino (6) White (7) Black (8) Latino (9) Illinois960-5125949816040Missouri980-712177630353New Jersey1261-4913877614941Texas2042-228746323647Ohio2581-56674290343Pennsylvania3079-492806904727Michigan4075-351771006110California423661684323644Wisconsin4881-33163304217Florida5054-41532713030Minnesota5283-31165390154North Carolina5361-8160410104Massachusetts5476-222564002318Arizona565331282611226Georgia645591411413513Colorado746860351601915Intensely Segregated White SchoolsWithin the charter school sector Table 13 displays the percentage of students by rac e that attends intensely segregated white charter schools. ( Note 45 ) Despite relatively low white charter school enrollment rates, there are only 2 states (I llinois and Missouri) without any students attending intensely segregated white chart er schools (see columns 4 to 6),
34 of 48 and in some states, white isolation is particularly stark. For example, despite the fact that about 60% of Michigan's charter school st udents are minority, 40% of white students attend intensely segregated white ch arter schools (see Table 13). In fact, in 10 states at least 15% of white charter sc hool students attend intensely segregated white schools; in six states, over one-q uarter of all white charter school students are in intensely segregated white schools.In every state except Massachusetts, blacks are the least likely of all students to enroll in intensely segregated white charter school s. ( Note 46 ) In no state are there greater than 4% of black students in intensely segr egated white charter schools and, further, regardless of the white share of tota l enrollment, fewer than 10% of black studentsÂ—public or charterÂ— are enrolled in i ntensely segregated white schools in all states (column 5).When compared to black students, higher percentages of Latino students are in intensely segregated white charter schools but stil l fewer than 10% of Latino charter school students in every state attend such schools (column 6). Charter vs. public schools In most states, a lower percentage of white charter school students attend intensely segregated white schools than white public school s tudents, which would be expected given the lower percentage of white studen ts in charter schools. There are five states in which a higher proportion of whi te charter school students by comparison to public school students attend90-100% white schools (i. e. California, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, and Colorado). In terestingly, in North Carolina, a state with racial/ethnic balance guidelines in thei r charter legislation, and where white share of the charter school enrollment (53%) is smaller than the public school enrollment (61%), there is a higher percentage of white charter school students in intensely segregated white schools than white publi c school students, indicating that, on average, white students in charter schools are more isolated than in the public schools in North Carolina.For minority students, in states where there is a h igher percentage of black students in 90-100% white charter schools than in t he public schools (i. e. Arizona, California, Georgia, and Colorado), there is still only a very small presence of black students in intensely segregated white sch ools. For Latino students, there are six states in which more than 10% of Latino pub lic school students are enrolled in 90-100% white schools, but Latino charter school students are generally less likely to attend intensely segregated white schools than Latino public school students. However, in four states (i. e. California Arizona, Florida, and Colorado), a higher share of Latino charter school students are in intensely segregated white schools than are Latino public school students.In general, minority students in charter schools ar e less likely to be in heavily white schools than minority students in public schools. T his could be due to the larger enrollment share of minority students in charter sc hools. In most states, white charter school students are less likely to be in in tensely segregated white schools than public school students, but on average, they e nroll in intensely segregated white charter schools at rates much higher than bla ck and Latino charter school students.
35 of 48 Table 13Percentage of Charter and Public School Students in Intensely Segregated White Schools, by Race/Ethnicity and by State, 2000 -01 (Ranked by Percent White of Charter School Students)State White Share of School Enrollment 90-100% White Charter School Enrollment Rate 90-100% White Public School Enrollment Rate Charter (1) Public (2) Charter-Public Difference (3) White (4) Black (5) Latino (6) White (7) Black (8) Latino (9) Illinois960-510004823Missouri980-7100069632New Jersey1261-498003523Texas2042-226001001Ohio2581-5620076628Pennsylvania3079-49260174711Michigan4075-35401771425California42366800400Wisconsin4881-33391467418Florida5054-417121411Minnesota5283-31602965822North Carolina5361-823142015Massachusetts5476-2254326186Arizona565331612811Georgia6455921132216Colorado7468637472323In earlier sections of this article, analysis using the exposure index showed that the average white charter school student was less segre gated from minorities than the average white public school student. Conversely, bl ack charter school students are more isolated than their public school counterparts and the record was mixed for Latino charter school students. In this section, we examine the distribution of races within predominantly minority, intensely segregated minority, and intensely segregated white schools.Students of all races are more likely to enroll in predominantly and intensely segregated minority charter schools than their publ ic school counterparts. However, the percentages of white students in these minority charter schools were still much lower than those for black and Latino students. We speculate that the over-enrollment of minority and under-enrollment of white students in charter schools might result in more students attending pre dominantly minority and intensely segregated minority schools. This over-en rollment of minority students should make it possible to expose whites (as well a s black and Latino students) to greater percentages of minority students, and we ha ve seen that, in fact, white
36 of 48 charter school students in many states are less iso lated than their public school counterparts. However, given the high white isolati on of public school students, white charter school students are still heavily enr olled in intensely segregated white schools. Even in states with a predominantly minori ty population in their charter school population, few white charter school student s attend heavily minority charter schools. Thus the possibility of substantial interr acial exposure of white students to minority students is largely unrealized. In most of these sixteen states, black and Latino charter school students are attending segreg ated minority schools at an even higher rate than those in the increasingly res egregating public schools.ConclusionThe driving idea behind the charter school movement has been allowing schools greater autonomy in exchange for greater accountabi lity. After a decade of rapid expansion and huge increase in public support for c harter schools, often on the basis of arguments that they improve equity in scho ol systems, it is time to hold these schools accountable for their accomplishments Our study shows that charter schools face high leve ls of segregation. Certainly there is tremendous variation among schools: some a re highly diverse while others have high levels of isolation, particularly for bla ck students. Although these schools have the potential to transcend high residential se gregation created by neighborhood assignment and school district boundar y lines, in many cases they are even more segregated than regular public school s. This might be due to the fact that many charter schools are located in segre gated neighborhoods; establishing charter schools on boundaries between white, black and Latino neighborhoods could increase the likelihood of draw ing a diverse student body. Our state data suggest that black students are enro lled in charter schoolsÂ—as well as intensely segregated minority charter schoolsÂ— a t a rate nearly twice their share of the public school population. Despite higher min ority enrollments in charter schools, however, we still see in a number of state s that whites are racially isolated. We find that regardless of white share of the entir e charter school enrollment, black students in charter schools experience high levels of racial isolation and are exposed to very low percentages of white students. There is little evidence from this analysis that the existence of charter schools help s to foster more integrative environments, especially for minority students. At a time when the public schools are more segregated for minority students than thir ty years ago, any reform that is publicly funded and intensifying the increasing pub lic school segregation deserves very careful evaluation.We continue to learn about the benefits of racial a nd ethnic diversity in schools for students of all races and at the same time, accordi ng to public opinion polls, public support for racial diversity is increasing. ( Note 47 ) Further in a recent case concerning affirmative action in higher education, Grutter v. Bollinger the Supreme Court recognized the importance of diversity as a c ompelling state interest. This article shows that instead of creating schools of d iversity, many charter schools are places of racial isolation, particularly for minori ty students. Based on lessons learned in other school choice programs, such as ma gnet schools, the following conditions may help to address issues of racial iso lation by creating a system that allows students to choose to attend charter schools on an equitable basis:
37 of 48 Full information: The theory of choice as an equita ble system has always depended on full information to all families. Infor mation about charter schools and application procedures are often linked to soci al networks. Information must be made available to all potential students an d parents, and in a language that all can understand. This might be aid ed by centralizing means of charter information dispersal in state departmen ts of education and/or charter offices regardless of which agencies and or ganizations are allowed to grant charters. 1. The provision of free transportation for all studen ts, even across school district boundaries, is essential to ensuring that all interested students can choose to attend charter schools. Students of poore r families will see their opportunities to choose constrained where charter s chools are not required to provide transportation. 2. Providing for and welcoming all groups, including s tudents from all racial/ethnic groups, English Language Learners, an d special education students. In many ways, both implicitly and explici tly, charter schools can make their environment unwelcoming for a diverse ar ray of students. Simply put, any publicly funded school should be a place where all students could be effectively educated. 3. No screening of children for charter schools, both academic and otherwise. Although most states require that charter schools e nroll students on a first-come, first-serve basis, legislation in some states allows schools to employ both academic and non-academic criteria in s tudent enrollment. Admissions procedures that might unfairly prohibit any child from enrolling (such as pre-admissions interviews or a requirement of parental involvement in the school) should be eliminated. Some states, s uch as Michigan, have tried to address this by specifying that admissions processes be made public. 4. No Child Left Behind provides an opportunity for al l students in low-performing schools to attend better schools, including moving to charter schools. We believe that this transfer opportunity should include a maj oritytominority transfer to all charter and magnet schools where room is available, and that the transfer will increase racial integration in the sending and rece iving schools. As such, transportation should be provided for students acro ss a metropolitan area. To ensure that choice policies and charter schools promote racial equity and integrated schools, a number of political scientist s and policymakers have underscored the need for government regulation of e ducation markets (Cobb & Glass, 1999; Moe, 2002; Taebel et al, 1997). For ex ample, Hill and Guin (2002) assert that Â“choice programs must be carefully desi gned to prevent segregation, and any program that produces levels of segregation as great as those now prevailing in the public education system should be scrapped or redesignedÂ” (p. 49). Our findings suggest that many state charter l aws need to be redesigned to include stronger enforcement mechanisms to ensure r acial integration. State education agencies should develop policies to ensur e that the four conditions above exist wherever charter schools are authorized They should provide support and encouragement for schools to create a diverse s tudent body and to recruit students of all races. Indeed, charter laws should incorporate lessons learned from regulated choice plans, such as controlled open enr ollment and magnet schools, that have produced stable, integrated schools in ma ny districts including
38 of 48 Minneapolis, Minnesota and Cambridge, Massachusetts (Willie, 2000). On the other hand, permissive charter school laws and unre gulated choice policies have increased racial isolation for black students and f acilitated white flight from integrated schools in Arizona (Cobb & Glass, 1999). Given the increasing ethnic separation in Arizona charter schools, Cobb and Gla ss (1999) argue that charter schools Â“should be required to actively pursue ethn ic representationÂ” (p. 31). If charter schools are to be an educational reform that provides an alternative means to broaden access to high quality education, issues of racial/ethnic segregation and practices that create the disturbin g patterns of racial isolation in charter schools in many of our states, as detailed in this article, must be closely examined. In addition to monitoring student achieve ment and financial management, charter granters must hold charter scho ols to racial/ethnic balance guidelines in those states and districts with such legislation or court orders. Ultimately, the extent of public oversight over sch ool choice will determine, to a large extent, whether charter schools support or un dermine racial integration in public education.NotesWe would like to thank Gary Orfield for his leaders hip at the Civil Rights Project and assistance on this project. Our thanks also go to Catherine Horn, Al Kauffman, Jimmy Kim, Michal Kurlaender, Patricia Marin, and John Yun of The Civil Rights Project for their invaluable comme nts and suggestions as well as Tiana Davis and the staff at the Civil Righ ts Project for their assistance. Special thanks to external reviewers fo r their feedback, from which this article also benefited: Carol Ascher, Ne w York University; Casey Cobb, University of Connecticut; Gene Glass, Arizon a State University; Jerry Horn, Western Michigan University; Gary Miron, West ern Michigan University; Janelle Scott, New York University; and Amy Stuart Wells, Teachers College, Columbia University as well as anonymous reviewers from this journal. 1. Teachers in charter schools, however, also reported serious frustrations and difficulties in environments lacking in security, c lear authority, career development, and other stresses. (Susan Moore Johns on and Jonathan Landman, "'Sometimes Bureaucracy Has Its Charms': T he Working Conditions of Teachers in Deregulated Schools," Tea chers College Record, vol. 102, no. 1 (February 2000), pp. 85-124). 2. Lee McGraw Hoffman, Overview of Public Elementary a nd Secondary Schools and Districts: School Year 2001-02, Nationa l Center for Education Statistics, May 2003, table 9, p. 21. 3. Karla Scoon Reid, "Minority Parents Quietly Embrace School Choice," Education Week, December 5, 2001. 4. Erica Frankenberg, Chungmei Lee & Gary Orfield, A M ultiracial Society with Segregated Schools: Are We Losing the Dream?, Cambr idge, MA: The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, 2003. 5. Ellen Sorokin, "Poll finds most blacks favor charte r, private schools," The Washington Times, July 19, 2002; Sharon Terlep, "Ch arter school study finds support is solid, MSU report may play role in effor t to lift current cap," Lansing State Journal, December 15, 2002. 6. Tom Loveless, How Well are American Students Learni ng? Part III, "Charter Schools," The 2002 Brown Center Report on American Education, 7.
39 of 48 Washington: Brookings Institution, 2002, pp. 30-36; David Arsen, David N. Plank, and Gary Sykes, "A Work in Progress," Educat ion Next, vol. l, No., 4, winter 2001, pp. 14-19; a large Texas study found n o difference (Eric A. Hanushek, John F. Kain, and Steven G. Rivkin, "The Impact of Charter Schools on Academic Achievment," unpublished report December 2002). Amy S. Wells and Robert L. Crain, Stepping Over The Color Line: African-American Students in White Suburban Schools New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997; Bruce Fuller and Richard El more (eds.), Who Chooses, Who Looses? New York: Teacher College Pres s, 1996. 114. Wendy S. Grigg, Marcy C. Daane, Ying Jim and Jay R. Campbell, "The Nation's Report Card: Reading 2002," National Cente r for Education Statistics, June 2003. 115. For data from Fordham Foundation, an active charter school supporter, suggesting weak oversight in many states, see, "Gra ding the Chartering Organizations," Education Week, June 11, 2003. 116. Bruce Fuller and Richard Elmore (eds.), Who Chooses Who Looses? New York: Teacher College Press, 1996. 117. Statutes concerning charter schools are found using Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis. The specific citations are available u pon request from the authors. 118. Unless otherwise indicated, all the authors' tabula tions are from the 2000-01 NCES Common Core of Data. 119. See Table 6 infra. 120. No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 Â§ 1116(b)(1)(E). 121. The FY02 federal budget allocated $200 million in c ompetitive grants for "expanding the number of high-quality charter schoo ls available to students across the Nation" (No Child Left Behind Act of 200 1 Â§ 5201(3)). 122. See Table 9 in Frankenberg, Lee, and Orfield (2003) 123. For example, of the 1855 schools, only 291 schools reported free and reduced lunch data. Of these, 63% of the schools ha d student bodies with than 10% black and Latino students. While it is int eresting to note that segregated white charter school are more likely to offer the free and reduced lunch program than other charter schools, these dat a are not reliable enough to draw any conclusions as to the correlation of ra cial minority and poverty concentration. 124. Note: The CCD racial categories, as derived from in formation submitted by each state, are: non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic B lack, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American. Thus, our analysis is limited to these categories and cannot include, for example, biracial students. 125. NCES defines a charter school as, "a school that pr ovides free elementary and/or secondary education to eligible students und er a specific charter granted by the state legislature or other appropria te authority." http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/data/txt/psu00lay.txt 126. The term isolation is used to denote the exposure o f one race to itself, for example, white to white. This is another measure of segregation, which shows how concentrated students are with other students o f their own race. We use the terms white-white exposure and white isolation interchangeably throughout the report to refer to the exposure of w hite students to other white students in their school. 127. There are certain shortcomings to comparing individ ual charter schools to district averages since these averages are, in gene ral, more diverse than 128.
40 of 48 individual non-charter public schools (Wells, Holme Lopez, and Cooper, 2000).There is some evidence that supports the idea that charter schools are attracting students from a broader geographic area than other public schools. In Pennsylvania, Miron, Nelson, and Risley (2002) f ound that charter school students traveled an average of 5.6 miles from thei r home to charter school whereas other public school students traveled 2.4 m iles. In theory, local districts are responsible for transportation arrang ements, yet Miron and colleagues note that that some districts are still working out these details. Miron and Horn (2002) found similar patterns of lon ger distances to charter schools than traditional public schools in Connecti cut as well. 184. 20 U.S.C. 8062 (1994). 185. 20 U.S.C. 8061 (1994). For a more detailed treatmen t on the civil right provisions and charter schools, see Wohlstetter et al., (1995). 186. Wright v. Council of Emporia, 407 U.S. 451, 460-462 (1972) (a new school district could not be created if its effect would b e to impede progress of dismantling an existing dual system). Also, for mor e recent cases that specifically pertain to charter schools, see Berry v. School District of the City of Benton Harbor, 56 F.Supp.2d 866, 872 (W.D. Mich. 1999) (when considering charter school application to operate w ithin a dual school system, court will consider interference with remedial orde r and effect on court's ongoing ability to eliminate vestiges of discrimina tion); Beaufort County Bd. of Educ. v. Lighthouse Charter School et. al., 516 S.E .2d 655, 659 (S.C. 1999) (upholding a school board finding that a prospectiv e charter school failed to adhere to same reporting requirements under OCR Tit le VI desegregation plan as other public schools in the district); Davi s v. East Baton Rouge Parish School Board, et al, C.A. No. 56-1662 (M.D. La. 199 9) (stating that charter schools in district remain subject to court's order s relating to desegregation of district). 187. Essentially, the 2000 U.S. Department of Education guidelines only tell prospective charter school founders to determine wh ether their proposed school is in a district with a school desegregation plan, and, if so, to consult with Department of Education officials. (See Parker 2001). Note: Some states are now starting to address this in revising their charter laws. 188. Statutes governing charter schools are found using Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis. The specific citations of statutes are available up on request from the authors. 189. The states comprising our definition of the South, as traditionally used in documenting school segregation trends, are the form er slave states that practiced legally mandated segregation: Alabama, Ar kansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, So uth Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Our definition of other region s is as follows: Border: Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Oklahoma, a nd West Virginia; Northeast: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New H ampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont; Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebrask a, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin; West: Arizona, Califor nia, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and W yoming. Note: Alaska and Hawaii are excluded because of their uni que ethnic compositions and isolation from the regions studied here. 190. This section analyzes data from the 34 states with operational charter schools. Thus, public school trends in these 34 sta tes may be slightly different 191.
41 of 48 than national trends based on all 50 states.Throughout this report, in all data presented in ta bles comparing public and charter schools, we have removed charter schools fr om the public school data. Therefore, we can compare charter schools wit h non-charter public schools. 218. For the remainder of the report, we use the term "p redominantly minority" to designate schools where at least 50% of the student body is minority. Likewise, we use the term "intensely segregated min ority" to designate schools where at least 90% of the student body is m inority. 219. Of course, at least in intensely segregated minorit y schools, by definition there will be a small percentage of white students. 220. To compare to charter student exposure in Table 6 o f this report, see Table 4, page 27 in Frankenberg, Lee, & Orfield (2003). 221. Due to the small numbers of Asian and Native Americ an students in charter schools in most states (although there are exceptio ns such as Minnesota and Arizona), the state-level analysis of racial/ethnic segregation will not include these students. 222. The Common Core of Data has eight categories for lo cale: large city, mid-size city, urban fringe of large city, urban fringe of m id-size city, large town, small town, rural outside metropolitan statistical area ( MSA), and rural inside MSA. We defined the three categories of urban, suburban, and rural based on NAEP's definitions. As defined by NAEP, central cit ies include all central cities in Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs) as determined by the Office of Management and Budget. Urban Fringe/Large Town denotes large towns that are located within SMSA's that are urban but not defined as central city. Rural/Small Town areas include all areas that are classified as rural by the Census. For the purposes of this report, we wil l use central cities, suburban for urban fringe or large town areas, and rural for small town and rural areas. 223. For data on the racial composition of the largest p ublic school districts, see Frankenberg, Lee, and Orfield (2003), pp. 53-57. 224. The states where charter schools over-enroll white students are either in the South or West (see Figure 2). One reason suggested for this trend is that in states with large and/or diverse public school syst ems, charter schools might provide a means for white students to avoid raciall y diverse schools (Wells, et al. 2000). The South and the West are also the two regions of the country with the highest percentages of minority public sch ool students, which are almost 50% (Frankenberg, Lee, and Orfield, 2003). 225. It should be noted, however, that Missouri only aut horizes charter schools in St. Louis and Kansas City. As these urban areas are heavily minority, it is not surprising that Missouri charter schools enroll suc h a high percentage of African-American students. 226. There are exceptions to this trend for white public school students in four states (Colorado, Arizona, Florida, and California) in which white isolation is actually lower than the white percentage of the sta te's total enrollment. 227. E.g., the difference in the white enrollment share is less than ten percentage points. 228. The average white public school student attends a s chool that is 79.7% white. (Frankenberg, Lee & Orfield, 2003). 229. Racial isolation also has a high correlation with s tudent poverty; of all public schools nationwide, 86% of schools in 2000-01 that had 90-100% minority 230.
42 of 48 students were schools in which at least half the st udent body was poor or near poor (Frankenberg, Lee & Orfield, 2003).Intensely segregated white schools tend to be schoo ls with a lower percentage of poor or near poor students; nationall y, less than 15% of schools that are 90-100% white are likely to be sch ools of concentrated poverty (Frankenberg, Lee & Orfield, 2003). 44. Latino students in Massachusetts are enrolled in in tensely segregated white schools at a lower percentage than blacks (2% for L atino students to 3% for black students). 45. See discussion supra. 46.References20 U. S. C. 8061 (1994)20 U. S. C. 8062 (1994)American Institutes for Research. (February 1993). Magnet Schools and Issues of Desegregation, Quality and Choice, Phase I: The National Survey and In-Depth Survey of Selected Districts. Apple, M. (2001). Educating the Â“rightÂ” way: Markets, standards, God and inequality. New York: Routledge. Arsen, D., Plank, D. N., & Sykes, G. (1999). School choice policies in Michigan: The rules matter. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press. Ascher, C., Jacobowitz, R., & McBride, Y. (1999). Standards-based reform and the charter school movement in 1998-99: An analysis of four states. New York University, Institute for Education and Social Poli cy. Beaufort County Board Of Education v. Lighthouse Ch arter School et al., 516 S. E. 2d 655, 659 (S. C. 1999). Berry v. School District of the City of Benton Harb or 56 F. Supp. 2d 866, 872 (W. D. MI 1999). Blank, R. K., Levine, R. E., & Steel, L. (1996). Af ter 15 years: Magnet schools in urban education. In B. Fuller & R. F. Elmore with G Orfield (Eds.) Who chooses? Who loses? (pp. 154-172). New York: Teachers College Press. Braddock, II, J. H. (1980). The perpetuation of seg regation across levels of education: A behavioral assessment of the contact-h ypothesis. Sociology of Education, 53 (3): 178-186. Clayton Foundation. (January 1999). 1998 Colorado Charter Schools Evaluation Study. Denver, CO: Colorado Department of Education. Cobb, C. D. & Glass, G. V (1999). Ethnic segregatio n in Arizona charter schools. Education Policy Analysis Archives 7 (1) Retrieved March, 2003 from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v7n1/ Coons, J and Sugarman, S. (1978). Education by choice: the case for family control Berkeley: University of California Press.
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44 of 48 212-21. Kim, J. & Sunderman, G. (2003). Findings from the first phase of school choice implementation in three districts: Buffalo, New Yor k, Richmond, Virginia, DeKalb County, Georgia. Paper presented at American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL. Kurlaender, M. & Yun, J. T. (2001). Is diversity a compelling educational interest? Evidence from metropolitan Louisville. In Diversity Challenged Orfield, G., (with Kurlaender, M. ) (Eds. ). Cambridge, MA: The Civil Rights Project, chap 5. Massey, D. S., & Denton, N. A. (1988). The dimensio ns of racial segregation. Social Forces, 67 281-315. Miron, G. & Horn, J. (2002). Evaluation of Connecticut's Charter Schools and the Charter School Initiative. Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University, Evaluation Center. Miron, G., & Nelson, C. (2002). What's public about charter schools: Lessons learned aboutschool choice and accountability. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Miron, G., Nelson, C., & Risley, J. (2002). Strengthening Pennsylvania's charter school reform: Findings from the statewide evaluati on and discussion of relevant policy issues. Kalamazoo, MI: The Evaluation Center, Western Michigan University. Retrieved March, 2003, from http://www.wmich.edu/evalctr/charter/pa_5year/ Moe, T. M. (2002). The structure of school choice. In P. T. Hill (Ed. ), Choice with equity (pp. 179-212). Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Pr ess. No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 107-1 10, 115 Stat. 1425 (2002). Orfield, G., Bachmeier, M., James, D., & Eitle, T. (1997). Deepening segregation in American public schools Cambridge, MA: Harvard Project on School Desegregation Parker, W. (Feb. 2001). The Color of Choice: Race a nd Charter Schools. 75 Tul. L. Rev. 563. Public Sector Consultants & Maximus, Inc. (1999). Michigan's charter school initiative: From theory to practice. Lansing, MI. Reardon, S. & Yun, J. T. (2002). Private school racial enrollments and segregation Cambridge, MA: The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University. RPP International. (2000). The state of charter schools, national study of cha rter schools, fourth-year report. Washington, D. C.: U. S. Department of Education. SRI International. (1997). Evaluation of Charter School Effectiveness. Prepared for the State of California Office of Legislative Analy st. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. Taebel, D., Barrett, E. J., Thurlow-Brenner, C., Ke merer, F., Ausbrooks, C., Clark, C., Thomas, K., Briggs, K. L., Parker, A., Wiher, G ., Matland, R., Tedin, K.,
45 of 48 Cookson, C., & Nielsen, L. (1997). Texas open enrollment charter schools: Year one evaluation. Texas State Board of Education. Wells A. S. & Crain, R. L. (1994). Perpetuation the ory and the long-term effects of school desegregation. Review of Educational Research, 64 531-555. Wells, A. S., Holme, J. J., Lopez, A., & Cooper, C. W. (2000). Charter schools and racial and social class segregation: Yet another so rting machine? In R. Kahlenberg (Ed. ), A notion at risk: Preserving education as an engine for social mobility (pp. 169-222). New York: Century Foundation Press. Wells, A. S. (Ed. ). (2002). Where charter policy fails: The problems of accountability and equity. New York: Teachers College Press. Willie, C. V. (2000). Controlled choice:A new and e ffective desegregation method. In C. C. Yeakey (Ed. ), Edmund W. Gordon: Producing knowledge, pursuing understanding. Advances in diverse communities:Rese arch, policy, and praxis Vol. 1. Stamford, CT: JAI Press, Inc. Wohlstetter, P. et al. (1995). Charter schools in t he United States: The question of autonomy. 9 Education Policy 331. Wood, J. (1999). An Early Examination of the Massachusetts Charter S chool Initiative. Amherst, MA: Donahue Institute, University of Massa chusetts. Wright v. Council of Emporia 407 U. S. 451 (1972). Young, B. A. and Smith, T. M. (1997). The Condition of Education 1997. Washington, D. C. : National Center for Education S tatistics 97-991.About the AuthorsErica Frankenberg is a Research Assistant at The Civil Rights Projec t and doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She received her Masters in Education with a concentration in Admini stration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Educatio n. Ms. Frankenberg has also worked with a non-profit educational foundation in Alabama. She earned a B.A. in Educational Policy from Dartmouth College where she received high honors for her senior thesis regarding the end of court-mandated d esegregation in Mobile, Alabama. Ms. Frankenberg's research interest in sch ool desegregation stems from her experience as a student in desegregated public schools. She presented, "The Impact of School Segregation on Residential Housing Patterns: Mobile, AL and Charlotte, NC," at the Resegregation of Southern Sc hools conference in August 2002. She is also co-author of "Race in American Pu blic Schools: Rapidly Resegregating School Districts," (with C. Lee) publ ished in 2002 and "A Multriacial Society with Segregated Schools: Are We Losting the Dream?" (with C. Lee and G. Orfield) in 2003 by The Civil Rights Project.Chungmei Lee is a Research Associate at The Civil Rights Projec t. She received her Masters in Administration, planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to joining the Project, she worked with Harvard's Programs for Professional Education and h elped train education leaders around the world in Education Management Informatio n System (EMIS). At PPE,
46 of 48 she also worked on issues relating to the professio nal development of teachers. As an independent consultant for the National Bureau o f Economic Research (NBER), she examined issues such as the financing of higher education and its impact on middle-income and low-income students' access to hi gher education. Before coming to Harvard, Ms. Lee was a high school histor y teacher in a Nicaraguan international school. She holds a B.A. in history f rom Dartmouth College. She was born in Taiwan and lived in Honduras for many years She is also co-author of "Race in American Public Schools: Rapidly Resegrega ting School Districts," (with E. Frankenberg) published in 2002 and "A Multriacia l Society with Segregated Schools: Are We Losting the Dream?" (with E. Franke nberg and G. Orfield) in 2003 by The Civil Rights Project. The World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is epaa.asu.edu Editor: Gene V Glass, Arizona State UniversityProduction Assistant: Chris Murrell, Arizona State University General questions about appropriateness of topics o r particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, email@example.com or reach him at College of Education, Arizona State Un iversity, Tempe, AZ 85287-2411. The Commentary Editor is Casey D. Cobb: firstname.lastname@example.org .EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin David C. Berliner Arizona State University Greg Camilli Rutgers University Linda Darling-Hammond Stanford University Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Mark E. Fetler California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Gustavo E. Fischman Arizona State Univeristy Richard Garlikov Birmingham, Alabama Thomas F. Green Syracuse University Aimee Howley Ohio University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Ontario Institute ofTechnology Patricia Fey Jarvis Seattle, Washington Daniel Kalls Ume University Benjamin Levin University of Manitoba Thomas Mauhs-Pugh Green Mountain College Les McLean University of Toronto Heinrich Mintrop University of California, Los Angeles
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