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School choice, racial segregation, and test-score gaps: Evidence from North Carolina's charter school program*

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  • Robert Bifulco

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Helen F. Ladd

    (Duke University)

Abstract

Using panel data that track individual students from year to year, we examine the effects of charter schools in North Carolina on racial segregation and black-white test score gaps. We find that North Carolina's system of charter schools has increased the racial isolation of both black and white students, and has widened the achievement gap. Moreover, the relatively large negative effects of charter schools on the achievement of black students is driven by students who transfer into charter schools that are more racially isolated than the schools they have left. Our analysis of charter school choices suggests that asymmetric preferences of black and white charter school students (and their families) for schools of different racial compositions help to explain why there are so few racially balanced charter schools. © 2006 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Bifulco & Helen F. Ladd, 2007. "School choice, racial segregation, and test-score gaps: Evidence from North Carolina's charter school program*," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(1), pages 31-56.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:26:y:2007:i:1:p:31-56
    DOI: 10.1002/pam.20226
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Henry M. Levin, 1998. "Educational vouchers: Effectiveness, choice, and costs," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 373-392.
    2. Tim R. Sass, 2006. "Charter Schools and Student Achievement in Florida," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-122, January.
    3. William G. Howell & Patrick J. Wolf & David E. Campbell & Paul E. Peterson, 2002. "School vouchers and academic performance: results from three randomized field trials," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 191-217.
    4. William G. Howell, 2004. "Dynamic selection effects in means-tested, urban school voucher programs," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(2), pages 225-250.
    5. Neal, Derek, 1997. "The Effects of Catholic Secondary Schooling on Educational Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 98-123, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:demogr:v:55:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0632-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Singleton, John, 2017. "Incentives and the Supply of Effective Charter Schools," MPRA Paper 83532, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 2009. "Harming the best: How schools affect the black-white achievement gap," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(3), pages 366-393.
    4. Brunner, Eric J. & Cho, Sung-Woo & Reback, Randall, 2012. "Mobility, housing markets, and schools: Estimating the effects of inter-district choice programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(7), pages 604-614.
    5. repec:eee:regeco:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:23-35 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:fip:fedhep:00026 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Carruthers, Celeste K., 2012. "New schools, new students, new teachers: Evaluating the effectiveness of charter schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 280-292.
    8. Anil Nathan, 2015. "Sorting and Statistical Discrimination in Schools," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 43(2), pages 271-287, June.
    9. Anil Nathan, 2009. "Sorting and Statistical Discrimination in Schools: An Analysis Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health," Working Papers 0905, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    10. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Ron Zimmer, 2015. "Charter Schools: A Survey of Research on Their Characteristics and Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 21256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Richard O. Welsh & Matthew Duque & Andrew McEachin, 2016. "School Choice, Student Mobility, and School Quality: Evidence from post-Katrina New Orleans," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 11(2), pages 150-176, Spring.
    12. Robert Bifulco & Helen F. Ladd & Stephen Ross, 2007. "Public School Choice and Integration: Evidence from Durham, North Carolina," Working papers 2007-41, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2008.
    13. Alves, Fatima & Elacqua, Gregory & Koslinki, Mariane & Martinez, Matias & Santos, Humberto & Urbina, Daniela, 2015. "Winners and losers of school choice: Evidence from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Santiago, Chile," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 25-34.

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