Charter schools and the risk of iIncreased segregation

United States

Charter schools, on average, don’t have an academic advantage over traditional public schools, but they do have a significant risk of leading to more segregation.

Although there has been considerable public attention to test-based accountability and to comparing student achievement in charter and traditional public schools, there has been less attention to the link between charter schools and increased segregation. A policy that exacerbates existing levels of segregation should be a major concern, particularly in the current environment: large inequalities in income and wealth (Stone, Trisi, & Sherman, 2012), a widening gap in student achievement between affluent and low-income students (Reardon, 2011), and implementation of state voucher and tax plans (Povich, 2013; National Conference of State Legislatures, 2013), which further contribute to student stratification.

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