Critics of charter schools have long worried that they engage in “creaming,” attracting the best students and most engaged parents and leaving neighborhood public schools the rest. But a more serious question is whether charter schools have contributed to the re-segregation of schools by race.
A study of Indianapolis charter schools suggests that, in some cases, they have.
The study, conducted by Johns Hopkins University education professor Marc Stein and published last summer in the American Journal of Education, found that charter-school choice in Indy led to “higher degrees of racial isolation and less diversity” than in the public schools the students were leaving.
African-American students were more likely to enroll in charter schools with a higher concentration of black students than the neighborhood schools they left; and white students more likely to enroll in schools with a higher percentage of white enrollment.
The average white student in the analytic…