Charter schools are more racially isolated than regular public schools in practically every state and large urban area in the United States, says a report released by the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The report says that charter school enrollment shows patterns of a high level of minority segregation, which is particularly evident for black students. Segregation has been increasing for black children in public schools for nearly two decades, but the report makes the case that black students in charter schools are much more likely than their counterparts in regular public schools to be educated in a segregated environment. In a typical charter school attended by a black student, nearly three out of four of their classmates are also black.
The study found that gaps in federal data make it hard to conclude to what extent charter schools enroll low-income students or English-language learners.
A version of this article appeared in the February 10, 2010 edition of Education Week as Charter Schools