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Charter Schools

Inter-District Charters: One Way to Integrate Our Schools

Clara Allen of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute writes about the rare but potentially hopeful use of inter-district charter schools as a tool for regional school integration. Allen cites the  report in which The Century Foundation's Halley Potter argues that charter schools have an important role to play, "by using their flexibility, funding, and political viability" to solve various integration problems.
Two examples of successful and charter-backed inter-district integration are the Rhode Island Mayoral Academies and Connecticut’s Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication (ISAAC). The Mayoral Academy schools draw their students from four districts, two urban and two suburban, which encompass a broad socioeconomic range. The schools use a weighted lottery system to ensure that they admit an equal number of students from the urban and suburban areas and that at least half of their enrolled students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Not only has the school fostered a diverse and accepting environment—it has narrowed the achievement gap.

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