Charter Schools and Diversity

January 26, 2007

Many people, including me, have looked at how students at charter schools compare with those at traditional public schools. My article is here Charters and Public Schools (pdf). One of the consistent findings from the research has been that charters serve a disproportionately large numbers of African-American students (this is something of a surprise, given that when charter schools originally came on the scene many people–including me–worried that they would draw the most advantaged students from the public system). But much less attention has been paid to the question of the racial composition of charter school leadership. Fortunately, that is beginning to change, and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is looking at the lack of people of color from all levels of charter school leadership (including state charter associations, charter management organizations, and charter authorizers). When I’ve asked around about this question, I’ve heard a variety of explanations–industry practices that exclude (either intentionally or unintentionally), difficulty getting access to capital, ineffective recruitment strategies, etc. I’m working on this project, and I’m curious to see whether we can make a difference.

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One Response to “Charter Schools and Diversity”

  1. Bridget Newman Says:

    Hi, my name is Bridget and I’m currently a second year TFA corps member in Camden, NJ. I stumbled upon your blog and I’m so glad that I did! Before I joined TFA, I thought that charter schools were just another conservative attempt to dismantle public education. As a teacher, I find myself pulling students and their families aside and encouraging them to flee the public schools in Camden — almost like an Underground Railroad. Your Progressive History of School Choice is a much needed addition to the current debate about charter schools. Thank you for your voice and I can’t wait to read more of your blog!

    Peace,
    Bridget


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