Unchecked, charter schools tend to worsen
already high levels of racial and economic segregation.
The Obama administration holds up charter schools as the hope of reform for the educational system. But charter schools could be doing much more to change problems that go beyond academics in American education, write two researchers from the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School. Charter schools should be tools to reverse the isolation of student groups affected by segregation and income inequalities, they write.
This from Education Week:
A review of research measuring the promise of charter schools against what actually happens to children in real classrooms strongly suggests that it is unrealistic to expect that charter schools, alone, will reverse the vast and growing educational inequalities in the United States. In fact, there is no solid evidence that these schools—just by virtue of being charters—do any better for students than traditional public schools. As a rigorous and, unfortunately, widely misrepresented 2009 Harvard/MIT study on Boston showed, some charters do better than the city’s regular public schools. Some do not. This is a common finding. But another finding—that in some places, charters generally do worse than their traditional counterparts—is also commonly recorded. A recent Minnesota study, for example, showed that students in charters either did less well than similar students in public schools or the same as those students. A report released in June by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes featured similar findings.