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In Charters, Using Weighted Lotteries for Diversity Hits Barriers

While many of the nation’s public schools remain stubbornly segregated by race and income, charter schools are well-positioned to buck that trend: Untethered from neighborhood boundaries, they can draw students from across a city.

But the charter movement—fueled in part by high-profile networks geared strictly toward serving inner-city, low-income students—has mostly fallen short of creating schools that are more integrated than their traditional school counterparts. Even for charters built on a mission of serving a diverse mix of students, it can be hard to balance enrollment, especially in fast-gentrifying urban areas.