ERIC Number: ED443896
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-May-22
An Examination of Charter School Equity.
Ascher, Carol; Wamba, Nathalis
Issues related to educational equity and charter schools are discussed, and evidence is presented from a national study of equity in charter schools. Three standards of equity are discussed, and the equity provisions of state charter legislation are reviewed. To supplement existing studies of charter school demography, researchers at New York University's Institute for Education and Social Policy began to collect demographic data on charter schools. The database for this study included 801 charter schools. Data from these schools indicate that 70% of all charter schools are not distinct from their surrounding districts in the percentage of white students. In 31% of all charter schools, more than two-thirds of students are students of color, and only 47% of these schools are indistinct from their district averages. Overall, data suggest that charter schools may be proliferating at both the low and high ends of the race/ethnicity and affluence/poverty continuums. Data from this study cannot show that charter schools are exacerbating racial isolation or creating more isolation by social class, but some state-level case studies suggest that this is the case. Fieldwork suggests that some charter schools may well have developed educational programs that draw a range of students, and some may be providing high quality educational opportunities to low income students of color. However, state studies suggest that charter schools serving low-income children of color are less likely to provide an academic curriculum and are generally not as rich in resources as charter schools serving white, middle-class students. Some equity issues, particularly those associated with outcomes of education, remain unresolved for charter schools. (Contains 4 figures, 1 table, and 52 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD.; Carnegie Corp. of New York, NY.; Rockefeller Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: New York Univ., NY. Inst. for Education and Social Policy.
Note: Paper presented at a conference on "School Choice and Racial Diversity" (New York, NY, May 22, 2000).