By Yaël Ossowski  / April 21, 2015  /

The charter school community in North Carolina is rising up
against a study put together by Duke University scholars that argues
charter school segregation is giving white students an advantage over
black students.

“I find the claims that public charter schools perpetuate segregation across our state to be both false and disingenuous,” Darrell Allison, president of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, told on Tuesday.


The North Carolina Public Charter Schools Association came out in
full force last week against the proposed notion that charter schools
were reintroducing “segregation,” a notion picked up by the Washington

Now Allison’s group is weighing in on that newspaper article, which
claimed white parents were using charter schools to “secede” from
traditional public schools.

“The fact is that public charter schools enroll a greater percentage of black students than traditional schools,” said Allison.

“During the 2013-14 academic year, black students comprised 30
percent of public charter school enrollment and 26 percent of the
traditional public school student population,” he said.

He added that the liberalization of rules surrounding charter schools
has caused a huge increase in enrollment for children across all race
groups, a point overlooked by the study’s authors.

“Since the cap was lifted on public charter schools in our state in
2011, we have seen a 20 percent increase in black students enrolled in
public charter schools along with a 21 percent increase in white
students enrolled – a mere 1 percent difference,” Allison stated on his
organization’s website.

Allison is joined in his criticisms by Eddie Goodall, executive
director of the North Carolina Public Charter Schools Association, who told
the study’s main claim is a “thinly veiled and worn theme there that
has pretty much been laid to rest by public awareness and sophistication
over the post cap years.”

The study was commissioned
by the National Bureau of Economic Research by three Duke University
professors from the Sanford School of Public Policy, Helen Ladd, Charles
Clotfelter and John Holbein.

Thus far there has been no response from the researchers on the negative reactions to the study.