Jenn Ayscue of The Civil Rights Project at UCLA and UNC Charlotte researchers Amy Hawn Nelson, Roslyn Arlin Mickelson, Jason Giersch, and Martha Cecilia Bottia published a report this week titled “Charters as a Driver of Resegregation.” After reading the report, I’m not convinced.

The authors bill the report as an exploration of the direct and indirect causes of resegregation using the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) as a case study. They argue that the direct cause of resegregation is the “departure of some middle-class, academically proficient students who are white or Asian from traditional public schools for charters.” The indirect cause is the “political activism of suburban parents who threatened a middle-class exodus from CMS to the charter sector if new assignment boundaries did not honor their current neighborhood school assignments.” According to the report, both factors inhibit the ability of the school board and central office staff to create school assignments that are sensitive to racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic demographics of students. In other words, the issue is exit and voice.

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