New NCSPE report--Are ELL Students Underrepresented in Charter Schools? Demographic Trends in New York City, 2006-2008
EdResearch UC Santa Barbara
Are ELL Students Underrepresented in Charter Schools? Demographic Trends in New York City, 2006-2008
By Jack Buckley & Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj
Analysts of charter school reform have recently begun to investigate the enrollment patterns of special student populations, namely, low-income students, students classified as special education, and those with English language learner status. Using three recent years of data from the New York State School Report Cards and analyzing the charter population at the school level, we find that English language learners are consistently under-represented in charter school populations across three academic years. Conversely, students who qualify for reduced price lunch are overrepresented and students eligible for free lunch are approximately proportionally represented. This gap in enrollments of English language learners is confirmed by comparing to a population estimate drawn from data from the 2006-2008 American Community Survey. These patterns remain generally constant for all school years observed, but the distribution changes slightly as the total number of charter schools operating in New York City increased between 2005-2006 and 2007-2008.