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You are here: Home Newsroom Education News Roundup Archive 2010 October 2010 Do charter schools widen race and class divide?

Do charter schools widen race and class divide?

  • 10-07-2010
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By Leslie Layton/New America Media

Regan just opened the world's largest orphanage. Morgen found a cure for malaria. And Alex was a record-breaking lawyer. Here at Chico Country Day School (CCDS), where students are predominantly white, Regan, Morgen and Alex were among the fourth-graders who were asked, as part of their school assignment, to imagine themselves as the future Time magazine's Person of the Year. They put together an issue of the magazine to honor their future selves. While this assignment may sound too idealistic to many, it adds appeal for well-educated parents to enroll their children in a charter school like CCDS, which they see as an academic institution that will boost their children's confidence. One mile to the east, fourth-graders at Chapman Elementary School (CES), Chico's most diverse public school, were also tackling a hands-on project. But theirs was a fourth-grade ritual that is familiar to public-school students throughout the state. The students built a cardboard model of a California mission. Both CCDS and CES are in fact public schools running on taxpayer dollars. Yet, their differences — and the types of students and parents those differences attract — illustrate an unforeseen consequence of the charter movement. (more…)

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