Diverse Charter Schools: Can Racial and Socioeconomic Integration Promote Better Outcomes for Students?


Author: Richard D. Kahlenberg And Halley Potter

Summary: To date, the education policy and philanthropy communities have placed a premium on funding charter schools that have high concentrations of poverty and large numbers of minority students. While it makes sense that charter schools have focused on high-needs students, thus far this focus has resulted in prioritizing high-poverty charter schools over other models, which research suggests may not be the most effective way of serving at-risk students. There is a large body of evidence suggesting that socioeconomic and racial integration provide educational benefits for all students, especially at-risk students. Today, some innovative charter schools are pursuing efforts to integrate students from different racial and economic backgrounds in their classrooms.

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How Racially Diverse Schools and Classrooms Can Benefit All Students

Author: Amy Stuart Wells, Lauren Fox, And Diana Cordova-cobo

Summary: This report argues that, as our K–12 student population becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, the time is right for our political leaders to pay more attention to the evidence, intuition, and common sense that supports the importance of racially and ethnically diverse educational settings to prepare the next generation. It highlights in particular the large body of research that demonstrates the important educational benefits—cognitive, social, and emotional—for all students who interact with classmates from different backgrounds, cultures, and orientations to the world. This research legitimizes the intuition of millions of Americans who recognize that, as the nation becomes more racially and ethnically complex, our schools should reflect that diversity and tap into the benefits of these more diverse schools to better educate all our students for the twenty-first century.

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When and How Do Students Benefit From Ethnic Diversity in Middle School?

Author: Jaana Juvonen, Kara Kogachi, and Sandra Graham

Summary: A study by University of California Los Angeles researchers published in the journal Child Development finds that students who attend more racially- and ethnically-diverse schools report less vulnerability, loneliness, insecurity and bullying.

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3 Ways White Kids Benefit Most From Racially Diverse Schools

Author: Kristina Rizga

Summary: The academic and social advantages white kids gain in integrated schools have been consistently documented by a rich body of peer-reviewed research over the last 15 years. And as strange as it may sound, many social scientists—and, increasingly, leaders in the business world—argue that diverse schools actually benefit white kids the most. Here’s a summary of some of the most convincing evidence these experts have used to date.

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'School Resegregation: Must the South Turn Back?'

Author: John Charles Boger and Gary Orfield

Summary: In thirteen essays, leading thinkers in the field of race and public education present not only the latest data and statistics on the trend toward resegregation but also legal and policy analysis of why these trends are accelerating, how they are harmful, and what can be done to counter them. What’s at stake is the quality of education available to both white and nonwhite students, they argue. This volume will help educators, policy makers, and concerned citizens begin a much-needed dialogue about how America can best educate its increasingly multiethnic student population in the twenty-first century.

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Unrealized Impact The Case for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Author: Xiomara Padamsee And Becky Crowe

Summary: The purpose of the study is to enhance knowledge in the field about the role of diversity, equity, and inclusion in education organizations. This study includes data from more than 200 organizations on organizational demographics, policies, and structures and nearly 5,000 individual perspectives on lived staff experiences in relation to diversity, equity, and inclusion with an intentional focus on race and ethnicity.

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Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap

Author: Sean Thomas-Breitfeld and Frances Kunreuther

Summary:  Studies show the percentage of people of color in the executive director/CEO role has remained under 20% for the last 15 years even as the country becomes more diverse. To understand the causes of this disparity, the Building Movement Project conducted the Nonprofits, Leadership, and Race survey with over 4,000 respondents. The study found few differences between white and people of color respondents in their aspirations or preparation for leadership roles. The findings point to a new narrative — that the nonprofit sector needs to address the practices and biases of those governing nonprofit organizations.

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High hopes and harsh realities: The real challenges to building a diverse teacher workforce


Author: Hannah Putman, Michael Hansen, Kate Walsh, and Diana Quintero

Summary:  What will it take to achieve a national teacher workforce that is as diverse as the student body it serves, and how long will it take to reach that goal? This paper seeks to answer both of these essential questions. Authors examine four key moments along the teacher pipeline: college attendance and completion, majoring in education or pursuing another teacher preparation pathway, hiring into a teaching position, and staying in teaching year after year. They find that current and potential minority teachers disproportionately exit from the teaching pipeline at each of those four points.

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'Repairing the Breach” with Heather McGhee and Matt Kibbe'

Author: On Being Studios

Summary: It’s hard to imagine honest, revelatory, even enjoyable conversation between people on distant points of American life right now. But in this public conversation with Krista at the Citizen University annual conference, Matt Kibbe and Heather McGhee show us how. He’s a libertarian who helped activate the Tea Party. She’s a millennial progressive leader. They are bridge people for this moment — holding passion and conviction together with an enthusiasm for engaging difference, and carrying questions as vigorously as they carry answers.

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Equity and Excellence for All: Diversity in New York City Public Schools

Author:  New York City Department of Education

Summary: This diversity plan defines diversity as a priority for the DOE and part of our Equity and Excellence for All agenda, lays out a vision for working together with schools and communities towards meaningful and sustainable progress, and includes several policy changes that we can and must make now.

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Valor Collegiate Academies: Charter Schools Intentionally Designed to Serve Diverse Students and Families

Author: Safal Partners

Summary: This case study features Valor Collegiate Academies, an intentionally diverse charter management organization (CMO) that operates two high-performing charter schools in Nashville, Tennessee. Valor opened its first school in 2014-15 with a mission to serve a diverse student body and has made many decisions through its founding and operation to achieve that mission. Valor Flagship Academy, the first Valor school, produced outstanding academic results, including the highest standardized test scores in the city, in its first year of operation. This case study presents voices of many participants in Valor’s work.

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Stamford Public Schools: From Desegregated Schools to Integrated Classrooms

Author: Halley Potter

Summary: In contrast with many northeastern cities, Stamford has shown remarkable success maintaining racially and socioeconomically desegregated schools thanks to strong district policies and state laws that date back to the 1960s and 1970s. Over the past decade, the district has also committed to integrating classrooms through de-tracking and successfully reduced achievement gaps while increasing overall test scores. This report looks at the history of school integration efforts in Stamford, the district’s robust policy to desegregate schools, and the impact these efforts have had on integration and student outcomes

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Champaign Schools: Fighting the Opportunity Gap

Author: Halley Potter

Summary: Champaign has implemented a successful plan to desegregate schools, first instituted in response to litigation and now continued voluntarily. However, persistent struggles to address disparities in academic offerings, school discipline, and perceptions of school climate for students of color have resulted in large academic achievement gaps across both race and socioeconomic status. Perhaps the lesson of Champaign’s progress and continued challenges is that desegregating schools is only the beginning of work on equity. In order to improve student outcomes across the district, Champaign must address the opportunity gap that currently prevents all students in the district from having access to the educational resources they need.

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A New Wave of School Integration: Districts and Charters Pursuing Socioeconomic Diversity

Author:  Halley Potter, Kimberly Quick And Elizabeth Davies

Summary: In this report, TCF highlights the work that school districts and charter schools across the country are doing to promote socioeconomic and racial integration by considering socioeconomic factors in student assignment policies. The efforts of the districts and charters we identified provide hope in the continuing push for integration, demonstrating a variety of pathways for policymakers, education leaders, and community members to advance equity.

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Remedying School Segregation: How New Jersey’s Morris School District Chose to Make Diversity Work

Author:  Paul Tractenberg, Allison Roda And Ryan Coughlan

Summary: The Morris School District has been a remarkable, if incomplete, success story. It has achieved and maintained diversity at the school district and school building levels, but, in common with other diverse districts around the country, it is still confronting the challenge of extending that diversity to the classroom, course, and program level.

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Intentionally Diverse Charter Schools: A Toolkit for Charter School Leaders

Author: Nora Kern

Summary: This toolkit is designed to help charter school leaders and their stakeholders design and implement intentionally diverse charter schools. It presents decisions and actions, along with specific examples from three diverse charter schools, for school leaders’ consideration. Using this toolkit, leaders will learn more about how to measure student diversity, how to intentionally recruit and retain students, how to ensure that diversity is supported and experienced meaningfully at the individual, classroom, and schoolwide levels, and how to create and run schools that help all children thrive.

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EDUCATION EQUALITY INDEX: Measuring the Performance of Students from Low-Income Families in Schools and Cities Across the Country

Author: Luke Dauter and Samantha Olivieri

Summary: The Education Equality Index (EEI), created through a collaboration of GreatSchools and Education Cities, is the first nationally comparative measure of academic performance of students from low-income families in schools and cities. The EEI enables researchers, advocates, and educators to: Highlight schools and cities across the country with the highest performance by low-income students; Track how cities and schools progress over time in performance by low-income students, relative to low-income students across the country and; Identify cities and schools for further investigation based how students from low-income families are performing.

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562: The Problem We All Live With

Author: This American Life

Summary: Right now, all sorts of people are trying to rethink and reinvent education, to get poor minority kids performing as well as white kids. But there’s one thing nobody tries anymore, despite lots of evidence that it works: desegregation. In part one, Nikole Hannah-Jones looks at a district that, not long ago, accidentally launched a desegregation program. In part two,  a city going all out to integrate its schools. Plus, a girl who comes up with her own one-woman integration plan.

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How The Systemic Segregation Of Schools Is Maintained By 'Individual Choices'

Author: Fresh Air (NPR)

Summary: Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross that when it comes to school segregation, separate is never truly equal.”There’s never been a moment in the history of this country where black people who have been isolated from white people have gotten the same resources,” Hannah-Jones says…Still, when it was time for Hannah-Jones’ daughter, Najya, to attend kindergarten, the journalist chose the public school near their home in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, even though its students were almost all poor and black or Latino. Hannah-Jones later wrote about that decision in The New York Times Magazine.

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What White Parents Can Do to Help Desegregate Schools. And how to avoid acting like saviors in the process

Author: Patrick Wall

Summary: In 2014, Mykytyn founded Integrated Schools, a grassroots organization that encourages white families to “deliberately and joyfully” take the first step toward making their local schools more racially and socioeconomically diverse. While organizations such as the Century Foundation and the National Coalition on School Diversity promote integration on the national level, Mykytyn’s group is focused on recruiting middle-class white parents—the very people who have historically resisted sending their kids to integrated schools. “We’re the ones who kind of made it all fail,” says Mykytyn, who has a doctorate in anthropology. “Really fixing it has to be on us.”

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Southern Schools: More Than a Half-Century After the Civil Rights Revolution

Author:  Erica Frankenberg, Genevieve Siegel Hawley, Jongyeon Ee and Gary Orfield

Summary: This report by Civil Rights Project at UCLA and the Center for Education and Civil Rights at Penn State finds intense segregation of Black and Latino students in the South with charter schools more segregated for Black and Latino Students. Segregation in the South is double segregation for blacks and Latinos, meaning that they are in schools segregated both by race and by poverty in a region where the share of students poor enough to receive free or subsidized lunches has soared to nearly 60% of all students. Both segregation by race and poverty, research shows, are systematically linked to weaker opportunities and student outcomes.

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The Mismeasure of Schools: Data, Real Estate and Segregation

Author: Have You Heard

Summary: In this episode, Jennifer Berkshire and Jack Schneider discuss how test scores and other current metrics distort our picture of school quality, often fostering segregation in the process. What would a better set of measures include? Our intrepid hosts venture inside an urban elementary school to find out.

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What White Parents Can Do to Help Desegregate Schools

Author: Patrick Wall

Summary:  This article provides a look at Integrated Schools, a grassroots organization that encourages white families to “deliberately and joyfully” take the first step toward making their local schools more racially and socioeconomically diverse. While organizations such as the Century Foundation and the National Coalition on School Diversity promote integration on the national level, Integrated Schools  is focused on recruiting middle-class white parents.

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The bacon fat theory of school segregation, and some White House chaos

Author: Vox’s The Weeds

Summary:  This episode discusses the reemergence of school segregation and the policies that have supported it.

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Miss Buchanan’s period of adjustment

Author: Revisionist History

Summary:  While the integration of schools was a major milestone for civil rights, it unexpectedly lead to the firing of Black teachers around the country due to protests from White parents who did not want their children being taught by Black teachers. This forgotten period lead to our country’s current state where the percentage of Black teachers is less than that of Black students. This episode examines this forgotten impact of the Brown vs. Board decision.

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When color blindness renders me invisible to you

Author: Michele Norris, Jeff Raikes

Summary: Color blindness is often seen as the ultimate form of equality and non-bias; however in this podcast Michele Norris of The Aspen Institute and Jeff Raikes, former Gates Foundation CEO, discuss the true consequences of colorblindness and how it hurts progress. They also share examples of how they are trying to to shift this prevailing attitude of color blindness by turning directly toward race and equity.

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'Radical Hope Is Our Best Weapon” with Junot Diaz'

Author: On Being Studios

Summary: Pulitzer Prize-winning Dominican-American writer Junot Díaz is interviewed in this episode. He discusses the importance of “radical hope” in the aftermath of the 2016 election and as a tool towards equality.

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'Is America Possible?” with Vincent Harding'

Author: On Being Studios

Summary:  In this episode Vincent Harding, a great civil rights elder, examines how aspects of the civil rights vision may be applied to today’s realities. He also investigates the answer to an important question that many have posed: Is America possible?

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We need to keep talking about Charlottesville

Author: Brené Brown

Summary:  In this video Brené Brown discusses the need to continue the discussion of Charlottesville and the importance of owning our stories in order to control their outcome.

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