Study: Charter school growth accompanied by racial imbalance
By Nick Anderson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Seven out of 10 black charter school students are on campuses with extremely few white students, according to a new study of enrollment trends that shows the independent public schools are less racially diverse than their traditional counterparts.
The findings from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, which are being released Thursday, reflect the proliferation of charter schools in the District of Columbia and other major cities with struggling school systems and high minority populations.
To the authors of the study, the findings point to a civil rights issue: "As the country continues moving steadily toward greater segregation and inequality of education for students of color in schools with lower achievement and graduation rates," the study concludes, "the rapid growth of charter schools has been expanding a sector that is even more segregated than the public schools."
Gary Orfield, a UCLA education professor who oversaw the study, said that racially segregated schools tend to face more problems than integrated schools in teacher retention, graduation rates and other areas. He also said charter schools have not been proven to be better academically than regular public schools -- a conclusion some researchers debate...