Choice Watch: Access and Diversity in
Connecticut’s School Choice Programs
Robert Cotto, Jr.
May 17, 2014
Hartford Board o...
The Report
Robert Cotto, Jr. & Kenny Feder (CT Voices for Children)
• Source: CT State Department of Education, 2011-12
en...
Background
• CT school choice programs: technical schools, agricultural
science & technology centers, Open Choice, interdi...
CT School Choice Programs in 2011-12
Type of
School/Program
Number of
Children
Number of
Schools
Grade levels
(varies)
All...
Framework for Thinking About Choice
Erika Frankenberg and other researchers point
out, choice can help reduce racial, ethn...
Research Questions
• What is the demographic composition of
Connecticut’s school choice programs?
• Which programs meet th...
Key Findings
Our analysis of CT SDE enrollment data for school choice
programs - charter, interdistrict magnet, & technica...
CT School Choice Demographics
39%
35%
6%
12%
90%
71%
5%
8%
70%
55%
5%
9%
47%
41%
3%
7%
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
Percent Min...
Charter & Magnet Enrollment by City
1437 1249 1622
311
1478
774
6444
7863
1496
10593
0
2,000
4,000
6,000
8,000
10,000
12,0...
Analysis: Racial/Ethnic Segregation
65%
12% 18%
6% 0%2%
33%
62%
3% 0%
19%
0%
56%
19%
6%
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
PercentofS...
Analysis: Socioeconomic Integration
6%
41%
53%
0% 0%
6% 5%
81%
8%
0%0% 0%
88%
13%
0%
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
Hypersegregat...
Analysis: Emerging Bilingual (ELL)
Choice
Compared
w/District
Percentage
Point
Differential
Charter
Schools
Interdistrict
...
Comparison: Emerging Bilingual (ELL)
13%
18%
14% 13%
2%
3%
9%
0%
1%
5% 6% 7%
2%
5%
0%
2%
4%
6%
8%
10%
12%
14%
16%
18%
20%
...
Analysis: Students with Disabilities
Choice
Compared
w/District
Percentage
Point
Differential
Charter
Schools
Interdistric...
Recommendations
• Account for demographic differences between choice
programs & local schools.
• All school choice program...
Additional Resources
Full report, appendices, & additional resources can be
found at The Cities, Suburbs & Schools Project...
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Choice Watch Presentation for Magnet Schools of America National Conference - Hartford, Connecticut - May 17, 2014

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Part 1 of Presentation Entitled, "Who Chooses Magnet Schools and How? Findings from Three Studies in Hartford, CT.

Robert Cotto, Jr., Hartford Board of Education, Elected Member
“Choice Watch” – CT School Choice Enrollment Data.

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Choice Watch Presentation for Magnet Schools of America National Conference - Hartford, Connecticut - May 17, 2014

  1. 1. Choice Watch: Access and Diversity in Connecticut’s School Choice Programs Robert Cotto, Jr. May 17, 2014 Hartford Board of Education Trinity College - Hartford, CT
  2. 2. The Report Robert Cotto, Jr. & Kenny Feder (CT Voices for Children) • Source: CT State Department of Education, 2011-12 enrollment data. (October 2011) • Pre-K – grade 12 counts for all CT schools, including charter, interdistrict magnet, & technical schools. • Comparisons of demographics to local school districts by ELL, SWD, FRPM, race/ethnicity. • Analysis of data with regard to relevant diversity laws.
  3. 3. Background • CT school choice programs: technical schools, agricultural science & technology centers, Open Choice, interdistrict magnet schools, & charter schools. • All voluntary enrollment programs. • CT law promotes reduction of racial, ethnic, & economic isolation through all programs except technical schools. • Interdistrict magnet schools have desegregation standards, enrollment rules, and/or financial support towards this goal.
  4. 4. CT School Choice Programs in 2011-12 Type of School/Program Number of Children Number of Schools Grade levels (varies) All Public Schools 553,861 1,134 PK-12 Interdistrict Magnet 27,170 63 PK-12 Technical 10,656 16 9-12 Charter 6,097 17 PK-12 Agricultural Science and Tech. Center 3,245 19 9-12 Open Choice 2,086 — PK-12
  5. 5. Framework for Thinking About Choice Erika Frankenberg and other researchers point out, choice can help reduce racial, ethnic, and economic isolation, yet “choice without equity” can undermine educational opportunity for many children and their families. - Frankenberg and Orfield, 2013.
  6. 6. Research Questions • What is the demographic composition of Connecticut’s school choice programs? • Which programs meet their respective goals of reducing racial/ethnic/economic isolation? • How does their enrollment of emerging bilingual students & students with disabilities compare to local school districts?
  7. 7. Key Findings Our analysis of CT SDE enrollment data for school choice programs - charter, interdistrict magnet, & technical schools: • Higher proportion of students of color & low-income students; • Majority of interdistrict magnet & technical schools are numerically desegregated by race/ethnicity. • Majority of these three types of schools could be considered “integrated” by free/reduced lunch status. • Relatively lower proportion of emerging bilingual & students with disabilities compared to local districts.
  8. 8. CT School Choice Demographics 39% 35% 6% 12% 90% 71% 5% 8% 70% 55% 5% 9% 47% 41% 3% 7% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Percent Minority Percent FRPM Eligible Percent ELL Percent Special Education PercentofStudentsEnrolled All Public Schools Charter Magnet Technical
  9. 9. Charter & Magnet Enrollment by City 1437 1249 1622 311 1478 774 6444 7863 1496 10593 0 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 10,000 12,000 Bridgeport Hartford New Haven Stamford All Other Towns NumberofStudentsEnrolled Charter Magnet Sources: CT State Department of Education, 2012 (2011-12 School Year). Cotto & Feder 2014
  10. 10. Analysis: Racial/Ethnic Segregation 65% 12% 18% 6% 0%2% 33% 62% 3% 0% 19% 0% 56% 19% 6% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% PercentofSchools Charter Interdistrict Magnet Technical
  11. 11. Analysis: Socioeconomic Integration 6% 41% 53% 0% 0% 6% 5% 81% 8% 0%0% 0% 88% 13% 0% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Hypersegregated FRPM Moderately Segregated FRPM Integrated Moderately Segregated non- FRPM Hyper Segregated non-FRPM Percentofschools Charter Interdistrict Magnet Technical
  12. 12. Analysis: Emerging Bilingual (ELL) Choice Compared w/District Percentage Point Differential Charter Schools Interdistrict Magnet Schools Technical Schools Substantially Lower ELL 5 or higher 13 (76%) 42 (67%) 9 (56%) Somewhat lower ELL Between 1 and 5 2 (12%) 11 (18%) 5 (31%) Within 1 percentage pt. 1 (6%) 7 (11%) 0 Somewhat Higher ELL Between 1 and 5 1 (6%) 1 (2%) 1 (6%) Substantially Higher ELL 5 or higher 0 2 (3%) 1 (6%)
  13. 13. Comparison: Emerging Bilingual (ELL) 13% 18% 14% 13% 2% 3% 9% 0% 1% 5% 6% 7% 2% 5% 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% 20% Bridgeport Hartford New Haven Stamford PercentofStudentsIdentifiedasELL District Charters Magnet Technical
  14. 14. Analysis: Students with Disabilities Choice Compared w/District Percentage Point Differential Charter Schools Interdistrict Magnet Schools Technical Schools Substantially Lower SWD 5 or higher 6 (35%) 24 (38%) 10 (63%) Somewhat lower SWD Between 1 and 5 6 (35%) 27 (43%) 4 (25%) Within 1 percentage pt. 1 (6%) 5 (8%) 0 Somewhat Higher SWD Between 1 and 5 2 (12%) 5 (8%) 2 (13%) Substantially Higher SWD 5 or higher 2 (12%) 2 (3%) 0
  15. 15. Recommendations • Account for demographic differences between choice programs & local schools. • All school choice programs and systems should have clear, quantifiable, and enforced integration standards, and sufficient resources to comply. • Investigate barriers to enrolling ELL students and students with disabilities in choice programs - take action to remove any barriers identified. • Investigate disincentives to enroll these children - take action to alleviate them.
  16. 16. Additional Resources Full report, appendices, & additional resources can be found at The Cities, Suburbs & Schools Project site: http://commons.trincoll.edu/cssp/ Contact: Robert.Cotto@trincoll.edu Thanks to CT State Department of Education; CT Voices for Children - Kenny Feder & Ellen Shemitz, J.D.

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