LANSING -- The number of schools in Michigan listed as "segregated" has jumped dramatically over the past decade, driven by the charter school movement.
A Michigan State University report found that Michigan had 294 schools that were composed of at least 80 percent African-American students in 1992-93, and that number had increased to 431 by last year. The MSU Education Policy Center uses the 80 percent figure as the benchmark for being considered "segregated."
Of the 137-school increase, 87 were charter schools
African-American students make up 55 percent of the charter school population, compared to 19 percent statewide, according to the Michigan Association of Public School Academies, which represents charters.
"It's not to blame it on charter schools but to say, if anything, charter schools are exacerbating the problem," said David Plank, co-director of the policy center. "What we're doing is providing African-American parents whose children are in racially isolated schools the choice of attending other racially isolated schools."