Are School Choice Programs Compatible With the Goal of Racial Integration?

Are school choice programs contributing to segregation in American schools? The answer is undoubtedly yes, according to a recent research brief published by the National Coalition on School Diversity and written by Casey Cobb, the Raymond Neag Endowed Professor of Educational Policy in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut.

School choice programs are often touted as a means to address systemic inequities in schools, but in the United States, they largely operate as unregulated “open enrollment” programs, where students and their parents are allowed to choose which school they attend. Without regulation, and without an explicit focus on the goal of better-integrated school environments, segregation becomes more pronounced.

Studies have shown that charter schools, for example – which in an unregulated system are essentially free-market startups – end up more racially, ethnically, and economically homogenous than the surrounding traditional public schools.

According to Professor Cobb, “controlled choice” programs that consider a variety of student and school characteristics and seek to balance school enrollments by race, wealth, and achievement may offer opportunities to promote more equitable school environments. Controlled choice programs do offer a way to grant individual school preferences while also honoring policy goals – but those goals can’t be achieved without targeted focus and explicit emphasis on breaking the persistent links between segregated housing and school enrollment.

 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Three African Americans Appointed to New Academic Positions

Leon Prieto, Kofi Afrifah, and Andrea Moore have been appointed to new academic positions at Clayton University, Bowie State University, and Savannah State University, respectively.

Historic HBCU Landmark Revitalized Through National Park Service Grant

Through three restoration grants totaling $2 million, the Rosenwald Practice School and Principal House will be fully restored, becoming the new home for the Northeastern North Carolina African American Research and Cultural Heritage Institute.

Five Black Leaders Appointed to Administrative Positions

Here is this week’s roundup of African American who have been appointed to new administrative positions at colleges and universities throughout the United States. If you have news for our appointments section, please email the information to contact@JBHE.com.

North Carolina A&T University Establishes Research Partnership with Collins Aerospace

“There are direct relations to the research we do in the College of Engineering and the mission purpose of Collins Aerospace,” said Stephanie Luster-Teasley, interim dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University. “Being able to partner with Collins really gives our students the opportunities for hands-on research at each level – undergraduate and graduate.”

Featured Jobs