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Giving Compass' Take:
• Naaz Modan reports that a recent analysis found that charter schools exacerbate school segregation slightly.
• How can funders work to address school segregation at scale?
• Learn about efforts to use charter schools to foster integration.
In a new national analysis, researchers find charter schools slightly contribute to school segregation.
Conducted by researchers at the Urban Institute, the paper includes an analysis of more than 4,500 K-12 public schools from 1998 to 2015, finding that while the segregation of black and Hispanic students has remained relatively stable in the past 15 years, and has even declined in some metropolitan areas, charter schools increase segregation within districts.
If the average district had no charter schools, researchers wrote, the segregation of black and Hispanic students would decrease by 5%.
However, the same study found that in bigger metropolitan areas, charter schools decrease segregation between districts. So while charter schools deepen the racial divide among schools, they increase diversity across districts in the same metropolitan area.
Part of this might be explained by the inherent function of charter schools, which resembles the purpose of magnet schools in the desegregation era. Magnet schools were established to counteract white flight to suburban areas by offering custom curricula and programs in urban schools that would attract white families.
Read the full article about charters schools and school segregation by Naaz Modan at Education Dive.