Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Study: Nation's Charter Schools Are Places of Racial Isolation. (Noteworthy News)

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Study: Nation's Charter Schools Are Places of Racial Isolation. (Noteworthy News)

Article excerpt

CAMBRIDGE, MASS.

The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University (CRP) released a new study earlier this month on segregation patterns in the nation's charter schools. "Charter Schools and Race: A Lost Opportunity for Integrated Education," written by Erica Frankenberg and Chungmei Lee, is the third in a series examining segregation trends in America's public schools at the beginning of the 21st century.

Just last month, the U.S. Supreme Court proclaimed that diversity is a compelling state interest and affirmed that racial and ethnic diversity is a benefit for students of all races. However, instead of creating schools of diversity, many charter schools across the nation are places of racial isolation, particularly for minority students.

Dr. Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project and author of the report's foreword, noted: "Creating choice without serious civil rights policies tends to reflect and even reinforce segregation, losing an opportunity to provide integrated education preparing students for diverse colleges and workplaces. As a native Minnesotan, I am particularly distressed at the poor record in the birthplace of the charter movement, one of the nation's Whitest states, where segregation of minority students is notably severe. …

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