Chester Community Charter School at bottom in Delco on state safe-school reports
It’s been more than 60 years since the Supreme Court, in Brown v. Board of Education, ruled “separate but equal” schools unconstitutional. In that time, school populations have diversified, thanks in large part to an increase in the numbers of Hispanic and Asian students attending U.S. schools. But how closely do America’s traditional public and charter schools look like the communities they serve? And if schools’ student bodies don’t reflect their neighborhoods’ racial makeup, how come? In “Balancing Act: Schools, Neighborhoods, and Racial Imbalance” (PDF), Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst, Richard V. Reeves, Nathan Joo, and Pete Rodrigue examine the share of white, black, and Hispanic students at 86,109 public schools—both traditional and charters—across the country and identify schools whose racial imbalance with respect to their surrounding neighborhoods makes them ‘outliers’ within their states.
Education Week By Sarah D. Sparks November 16, 2017
Long before there was an independent federal education department—before many states had school systems, in fact—there was a federal education statistics agency. Today, the National Center for Education Statistics celebrates its 150th anniversary (albeit without a permanent commissioner in place). Though the agency remains independent of the Education Department, its work has laid a bedrock for education policy in the United States in areas from large-scale testing, to tracking students over time, to using surveys and local administrative data to understand changes in schools. “NCES, even if people aren’t aware of it, has played a huge role in shaping education research,” said Sean P. “Jack” Buckley, a former commissioner of NCES. “The idea of standardized assessments in longitudinal studies … really all grew out of NCES and IES [the Institute of Education Sciences], and it drives so much research now that probably more than half of researchers aren’t aware of where that came from.”