Paper Summary

Direct link:

Measuring School Diversity: A Mixed-Methods Examination of Intentionally Diverse Charter Schools' Diversity Goals

Thu, April 8, 4:00 to 5:00pm EDT (4:00 to 5:00pm EDT), Division L, Division L - Section 5 Roundtable Sessions


This mixed-methods study examines how 46 intentionally diverse charter schools (IDCS) across three states operationalize their diversity mission through goal setting. We found that, though all goals focused on racioethnic and/or socioeconomic diversity, goals varied widely, and a common set of challenges made many impossible to evaluate. Additionally, we quantitatively evaluated IDCS’ racioethnic diversity goal attainment based on a researcher-created criterion using a racial diversity index. These methods produced divergent evaluations: based on the researcher-defined metric, IDCS are more diverse than comparison schools, but IDCS largely did not meet their own diversity goals. We conclude with a discussion of how researchers and policymakers can engage practitioners in developing meaningful diversity goals, reference groups, and evaluation criteria.