Understanding School Choice through Race and Achievement

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An increasingly large number of American students are turning away from traditional public schools in pursuit of a highly specialized alternative. As a result, the charter school population has tripled over the last 10 years. Today, more than three million students attend charter schools, compared to just 0.4 million in 2000. As the charter school population has increased, controversy surrounding these institutions has intensified. 

While the controversy surrounding charter schools impacts students across the country, these issues remain especially relevant to students of color. As the US continues to sink lower and lower in global academic achievement, the need for effective schools — charter or otherwise — becomes increasingly urgent. Charter schools should continue to serve their initial purpose — to act as centers for innovation — but must only be allowed to expand when high academic standards are consistently achieved.

In 2016, the NAACP called for a…

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