New Study Show Charter Schools as a Civil Rights Failure

by Project Censored

Charter schools are more racially isolated than traditional public schools in virtually every state and large metropolitan area in the country.

A nationwide report study from UCLA based on an analysis of Federal government data and an examination of charter schools in 40 states and the District of Columbia, along with several dozen metropolitan areas with large enrollments of charters has found that charter schools continue to stratify students by race, class, and possibly language.

“Choice without Equity: Charter School Segregation and the Need for Civil Rights Standards” was written by the UCLA Civil Rights Project. Charter Schools, primarily in the western states of the US have greater white re-segregation than public schools.

President Obama intends to increase charter schools in America, as part of his education reform. The budget for charter schools was increased by 20% compared to past years.

The study’s key findings suggest that charter schools, particularly those in the western United States are havens for white re-segregation from public schools; requirements for providing essential equity data to the federal government go unmet across the nation; and magnet schools are overlooked, in spite of showing greater levels of integration and academic achievement than charters.

“The charter movement has flourished in a period of retreat on civil rights,” stated UCLA Professor Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project. “The vision of a successfully integrated society – one that carries real opportunities for historically excluded groups of students to enter the mainstream – ought to be a defining characteristic of charter schools. Federal policy should make this a condition for charter school support and should support other choice programs which pursue this goal.”

President Obama intends to increase charter schools in America, as part of his education reform. The budget for charter schools was increased by 20% compared to past years.

In many different charter schools, 90-100% of the population is minority students, which is close to twice the rate of traditional public schools.

Source: “New Report Explains that Charter Schools’ Political Success is a

Civil Rights Failure” Jamal Simmons, Civil Rights Project at UCLA, Feb. 4,

2010.

http://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/news/pressreleases/pressrelease20100204-report.html

Student Researcher: Kelsey Harris

Faculty Evaluator: Laura Watt Professor of Environmental Studies and Planning,

Faculty Instructor: Peter Phillips

Sonoma State University