In 2015, three distinguished researchers at Duke University studied charter schools in North Carolina and found that they serve a population that is less diverse and whiter than those who attend public schools. In addition, most of the charter schools are segregated. The Duke study was cited in a report written for Legislature by the state Department of Public Instruction. The DPI report was withheld by the Lt. Governor’s office, who said it was too “negative.” Lt. Governor Dan Forrest wants the report rewritten to show the good things about charters. He is tired of so much criticism. Forest joined the state board of election three years ago, and he constantly hears criticism of charters. (Wonder why?)
The report shows:
More than 57 percent of students attending charter schools in the current school year are white, compared with traditional public schools’ 49.5 percent, the report said.
The proportion of African-American students is about the same across both types of schools. A little more than 8 percent of charter students are Hispanic, while enrollment at traditional schools is more than 16 percent Hispanic.
The report also references an April 2015 study by Helen Ladd, Charles Clotfelter and John Holbein of Duke University that showed little integration within individual charter schools. Student populations at individual charters, their study found, are predominantly white or predominantly minority.
The state is trying to suppress the report, to try to spin it to get a positive outcome, but it won’t work. The authors of the report, distinguished academics, are not going to change their findings to please politicians. The next post links to the full report.