California Educator

April / May 2019

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W I T H 6 P E R C E N T of U.S. students currently attending public charter schools, they can and should play a role in creating equal opportunity for students, but doing so will require focus from charter providers and dedication from policymakers at all levels, according to a recent report by e Century Foundation focusing on public charters and educational equity. e report comes on the heels of an Education Week article that finds that a quarter of all public charter high schools in the U.S. gradu- ate less than 50 percent of their students. e Century Foundation's report, "Advancing Intentional Equity in Charter Schools," examines the ability of charter schools to equitably serve a diverse student body, outlines the impacts of privately operated charters on traditional public school districts, and makes a comprehen- sive series of policy recommendations to ensure that charter schools foster equitable practices for all children, including those attending traditional public schools in districts where charters locate. "e proliferation of unregulated, privately managed charter schools has had a dramatic fiscal impact on local school districts and their ability to provide essential support and services to all students," says A Look at Charter School Impacts, Efficacy New research spurs questions about equity By Julian Peeples CTA President Eric Heins. "As the report states, charter schools should only have a place in our public educa- tional landscape if they further our public policy goal of advancing equal educational opportunity." The Centur y Foundation report outlines national trends about how charters serve different student pop- ulations and related impacts. While the overall racial composition of charter schools (white 33 percent, Afri- can American 27 percent, Hispanic 32 percent) is more equally distributed than in traditional public schools (white 59 percent, African American 17 percent, His- panic 19 percent), data at the school level shows that 17 percent of charter schools are more than 99 percent students of color (compared with 9 percent of tradi- tional schools). e report expresses similar concerns about the socio- economic status of charter school students. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, charter Charter schools are more likely than traditional public schools to be high-poverty schools or low-poverty schools, raising questions about where charter schools choose and are approved to open. Source: National Center for Education Statistics 16 In the Know R E S E A R C H

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