From the Field

Did the New Orleans School Reforms Increase Segregation?

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Research shows that all students benefit, socially or academically, from more integrated schools, making this an important issue to examine. In its latest brief on the charter school movement that has swept the city, the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans  drew four main conclusions:

  • New Orleans schools were highly segregated prior to the city’s school reforms, especially in terms of race and income, and remain segregated now.
  • Researchers found little evidence that the New Orleans school reforms affected segregation for elementary school students. Most groups of high school students were affected, with some groups seeing an increase in segregation and others a decrease.
  • There were no consistent trends in racial segregation. Some groups became more segregated, others less so.
  • Among high school students, segregation has increased for low-income students and English Language Learners, but decreased for special education students as well as by achievement.