Charter schools, a choice or necessity for disadvantaged Black students: examining perceptions of middle school students’ educational experiences

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tracey L. Helton Lewis (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Carl Lashley

Abstract: School choice is the opportunity for parents to decide the educational setting they deem most appropriate for their children. The federal government and state courts influenced the parameters of school choice with rulings that created opportunities for parental choice possibilities to grow. Provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act give students opportunities to escape failing schools. However, many concerns and cautions exist to warn parents as consumers about the potential outcomes of school choice, not only for their children’s educational achievement but also for the outcomes of disadvantaged Black students who may not have the means or equal opportunity to choose higher performing schools. The expansion of charter schools has become major competition for traditional public schools. President Barack Obama’s Race to the Top (RttT) grants forced states to have a plan to allow charter schools to expand their place in the educational market. As with traditional public schools however, not all charter schools are created equal. Whether charter schools are providing high quality competition for traditional public schools, and a different educational opportunity for students to be academically successful, remains to be seen. This study examined the history of school choice in the United States and North Carolina. The impact of charter schools on a collective case study of disadvantaged Black middle school student’s educational experiences were investigated. The perceptions of the students, their parents, and the teachers were investigated to determine the positive or negative factors that influenced the student participants’ educational experiences and how the mitigating instructional, organizational, social, and cultural attributes of schools influence the investment in their education.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Academic achievement, Black students, Charter schools, Educational experiences, Public schools, Race
Charter schools $z North Carolina $x Case studies
Middle schools $z North Carolina $x Case studies
School choice $z North Carolina $x Case studies
African American students $z North Carolina
Students with social disabilities $z North Carolina
Academic achievement $x Economic aspects $z North Carolina
School improvement programs $z North Carolina

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