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ERIC Number: ED509774
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 25
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Equity Overlooked: Charter Schools and Civil Rights Policy
Frankenberg, Erica; Siegel-Hawley, Genevieve
Civil Rights Project / Proyecto Derechos Civiles
The Civil Rights Project (CRP) is in the midst of an analysis of rapidly growing charter school enrollment, which the authors anticipate releasing next month. Similar to trends described in their 2003 report and in other research on racial isolation in charter schools, they find higher levels of segregation for black students in charter schools compared to traditional public schools. This finding is particularly striking given that the CRP has reported increasing segregation for black (and Latino) students in public schools for nearly two decades. In other words, charter school segregation levels for black students are even outpacing steadily increasing public school segregation. As new incentives for expanding charter schools continue to emerge, it is critically important for the federal government to issue and enforce new guidance on charter schools and civil rights policy. With many states pursuing the expansion of charter school programs--in the face of mounting evidence linking charters to increased levels of segregation--there should be no further delay. This paper describes the contours of state legislation relating to charter schools and racial diversity, as well as limited oversight activities to monitor compliance with these policies. The authors also highlight serious gaps in charter school enrollment data based on an on-going Civil Rights Project analysis of charter school racial, socioeconomic and linguistic segregation. They conclude with recommendations for designing charter school civil rights policy to ensure that the spread of educational choice continues to provide equal opportunities and integrated education to students from all backgrounds. Survey of State Charter School Legislation about Diversity is appended. (Contains 86 footnotes.)
Civil Rights Project / Proyecto Derechos Civiles. 8370 Math Sciences, P.O. Box 951521, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1521. Tel: 310-267-5562; Fax: 310-206-6293; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Ford Foundation; Open Society Institute
Authoring Institution: University of California, Los Angeles, Civil Rights Project / Proyecto Derechos Civiles