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Journal Article

Public School Choice and Racial Sorting: An Examination of Charter Schools in Indianapolis

Marc L. Stein
American Journal of Education
Vol. 121, No. 4 (August 2015), pp. 597-627
DOI: 10.1086/681920
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/681920
Page Count: 31
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Public School Choice and Racial Sorting: An Examination of Charter Schools in Indianapolis
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Abstract

There has been a long-standing concern among education researchers and policy makers that public school choice may lead to increased racial isolation. Improving on aggregate comparisons, I examine the sorting of students into charter schools by tracking individual students from their charter school of enrollment back to the school they were enrolled in immediately prior to the switch to a charter school, allowing for a direct comparison of school racial demographics between the two sectors. I find evidence that the process of charter school choice in Indianapolis leads to higher degrees of racial isolation and less diversity within schools than is present in the underlying process of student school transfers in the public school district from which a majority of these students came.

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