The Growing Segmentation of the Charter School Sector in NC

THE GROWING SEGMENTATION OF THE CHARTER SCHOOL SECTOR IN NORTH CAROLINA

Helen F. Ladd Charles T. Clotfelter John B. Holbein

Working Paper 21078 http://www.nber.org/papers/w21078
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
April 2015

 

ABSTRACT
A defining characteristic of charter schools is that they introduce a strong market element into public education. In this paper, we examine the evolution of the charter school sector in North Carolina between 1999 and 2012 through the lens of a market model. We examine trends in the mix of students enrolled in charter schools, the racial imbalance of charter schools, the quality of the match between parental preferences in charter schools relative to the quality of match in traditional public schools, and the distribution of test score performance across charter schools relative those in traditional public schools serving similar students over time. Taken together, our findings imply that the charter schools in North Carolina are increasingly serving the interests of relatively able white students in racially imbalanced schools.

2015-04-20T13:05:34+00:00