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

  • Robert Bifulco

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Helen F. Ladd

    (Duke University)

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.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.20226
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Volume (Year): 26 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 31-56

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:26:y:2007:i:1:p:31-56
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  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. Tim R. Sass, 2006. "Charter Schools and Student Achievement in Florida," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-122, January.
  5. 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.
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