by Max Brantley
The complaint lands amid mounting data tying charter schools to segregation.Arkansas charters are open enrollment when privately operated and nominally use lotteries to choose students when oversubscribed. But it hasn't stopped, for example, whiter, more prosperous oases in the majority black, majority impoverished Little Rock School District.
In 2010, for example, a University of Colorado report analyzing charter schools from across the country found that "as compared with the public school district in which the charter school resided, the charter schools were substantially more segregated by race, wealth, disabling condition and language." Similarly, in reviewing a decade worth of research about charter schools, George Washington University education researcher Iris Rotberg earlier this year concluded that "charter schools often lead to increased school segregation ... and lead to the stratification of students who were previously in integrated environments."
Meanwhile, a General Accountability Office study in 2012 showed that "charter schools enrolled a lower percentage of students with disabilities than traditional public schools."
The potential causes of segregation aren't entirely clear. In the Delaware case, the groups blame charter schools' admissions requirements for effectively promoting discrimination.