Charters and desegregation | Arkansas Blog

Charters and desegregation

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Chris Heller, the attorney for the Little Rock School District who has told federal court that open-enrollment charter schools are threatening desegregation efforts in Pulaski County, today provided school board members and the superintendent with data his office has collected supporting his position.

The information includes enrollment and test data (here,  here, and here) from a student sample that suggests that most of the transfers to e-Stem and the Lisa Academy were already scoring proficient or advanced on benchmark exams in the LRSD.

Heller will present the information to the School Board at its meeting tomorrow night. He said he's seeking more information on how charter schools are affecting traditional public schools from the state Education Department. He writes:


From the information we do have, it appears that we could reach a financial settlement that would make it much more difficult but not impossible to provide our students a high-quality education in the next ten years, and that the continued unconditional approval of open enrollment charter schools in Pulaski County, and particularly the magnet type charters, will have the foreseeable effect of creating greater concentrations of poverty and greater racial segregation in LRSD schools.

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