Advancing Intentional Equity in Charter Schools

“Numerous charter schools across the country have been able to accomplish this goal. In fact, the National Education Policy Center recently recognized Broome Street Academy Charter High School (New York City) and Health Sciences High and Middle College Charter School (San Diego, California) as two of six Gold Recognition recipients for their Schools of Opportunity Project. This project “recognizes high schools that have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to equity and excellence by giving all students the opportunity to succeed.” Broome Street increased academic supports for all students and changed discipline policies to focus on restorative justice and avoid exclusionary practices. Health Science Charter School accomplishes its goals by a dedication to inclusive practices and heterogeneous classes. While these schools are exemplars, they are not alone. A study of thirteen charter schools in two cities found that “intentionally diverse” charter schools employed three conscious recruitment strategies: (1) targeted recruitment of minority communities, (2) local decisions to maximize diversity, and (3) using existing networks and word-of-mouth to recruit a broad pool of applicants. School staff uniformly championed equitable practices and purposefully sought to leverage the advantages of a diverse population for all learners.”

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