When poorer students are educated with students who are more privileged, the poorer students’ performance and long term chances of success increased. To see if this was occuring in all schools, I then looked up a journal that deals with magnet and charter schools. Magnets are not necessarily as diverse as their historical roots would suggest. Racial compositions of magnets and traditional public schools do not statistically differ at the school level. There is racial diversity when it comes to classroom level in magnets, but primarily consisting of Latinos and Whites, as blacks are disproportionately absent from both magnet and charter schools. Individual parents also influence the diversity of magnet programs, as White parents often choose magnet schools with predominantly white percentages. Higher income families choose schools with fewer poor students.
Several studies indicate that students are segregated between schools by race. In particular, charter schools can undermine student racial diversity in a district by attracting middle?class and White students who exit from traditional public schools (Renzulli & Evans, 2005). Kotok, Frankenberg, Schafft, Mann, and Fuller’s (2017) study of Pennsylvania charter school transfers found that while transferring to a charter school from a traditional public school reduces class segregation, it maintains racial segregation. Racial segregation of minority children was correlated with lower levels of achievement. There are a vast amount of studies stating the interrelated significance of race and social class for predicting academic achievement.
Dividing students by race and class between traditional and public schools of choice has the capability to only exacerbate the inequality in achievement as shown by test score gaps. Poor and minority children are much more concentrated in high poverty public schools then they would be if all children attend their local schools. Parents school of choice is based on racial prejudice which may be only loosely correlated with the school quality and safety. Coleman’s famous 1966 study and more recent research shows that the economic composition of a school’s student body has a significant impact on the educational outcomes of individual students independent of their family backgrounds (Coleman 1966, 1992; Kahlenberg 2001). A student who grows up in a family with fewer resources in a neighborhood that has fewer educational activities, attends a less demanding school with fewer teachers and students who are well prepared, and a more limited curriculum doesn’t have a fair chance to compete with students who face none of these inequalities. As public schools attempt to make a difference in the demographic and economic changes they are faced with doing so without adequate guidance or resources. The only way to end this ongoing educational discrimination is through governmental and systemic change.
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