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School Choice and Segregation by Race, Class, and Achievement

This chapter summarizes the empirical literature on the growth in school choice options, the increasing diversity of the school-aged population, and the segregation of America's schools by race, socioeconomic status, and student ability. Research findings suggest choice schools and programs are as segregated, and in some instances, more segregated by race and socioeconomic status than the other schools in their local community. Moreover, many forms of choice also segregate students by ability and achievement levels. The ways that school choice options are designed and implemented result in very little desegregation. The exceptions to this generalization are intradistrict full magnet programs that operate under conditions of controlled choice, interdistrict desegregation plans, and some secular private schools.

Suggested citation: Mickelson, R.A., Bottia, M., Southworth, S. (2008). School Choice and Segregation by Race, Class, and Achievement. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved [date], from…