Diversity in DC Public Charter Schools

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Some members of our data team recently analyzed academic and discipline outcomes at “diverse” DC charter schools versus non-diverse DC charters.  (Diverse schools were defined as those with less than 80% of the majority school population, which in DC is African-Americans.)   

The study was not an effort to determine which type of school is “better”.  DC has many very strong diverse and non-diverse charter schools.  Families are fortunate to have so many quality choices to select the right match for their individual children.  Instead, we sought to look statistically at how diversity of a school correlates with outcomes.   The findings were mixed. 

African American and At-Risk students have higher average proficiency rates at diverse schools than at non-diverse schools, but no difference in year-to-year academic growth, as measured by Median Growth Percentile.   There was no observable impact for Hispanics in either measure.

Within diverse schools, as diversity increased (defined as the percent of White students at the school), African Americans proficiency rates were unaffected, while their year-to-year growth rates declined.  Proficiency rates for Hispanic students grew, with no change in growth.

One clear finding – diverse schools in DC suspend students (of all races) a lot less than non-diverse schools.

You can find the full study below.


PDF icon DiversityReportNov2015.pdf4.06 MB