What Is the Relationship Between School Lotteries & School Segregation? (by Guest Blogger Nicole Lipton)

NicolePostThis blog post is, in part, a response to the recent New York Times articled called “Segregation Prominent in Schools, Study Finds.”  Please read this article as context for reading this post!

Also, check out http://www.scooponschools.com/lottery-basics/ to learn more about the charter school lottery process.  The website gets into the nitty gritty on all the details on how to beat the lottery, which charter schools are recommended, etc.

I found this website very enlightening and of course I left the site with questions. I didn’t know that the PPS has its own lottery as well as the lottery for charter schools. I feel like some kids in the St. Johns area (where I am doing my community work) would not be able to attend a charter school for various reasons, so how can we as a community change it so that all kids the same education as in a charter school but not necessarily going to one? I feel that every student deserves a “charter school learning experience” no matter what school they are in.

  • The first question that I thought of was does having the lottery create segregation in schools?
  • Is the lottery really random?
  • Also, not all schools are open to the lottery… why is that?

Let’s start our discussion here and see where it goes!


2 thoughts on “What Is the Relationship Between School Lotteries & School Segregation? (by Guest Blogger Nicole Lipton)

  1. Nicole,
    You ask some great questions, but I admit I’m a bit confused. So parents can pick their three top choices, but do the schools have to fall in the district they live in or can it be outside of it? Because if you consider school performance in achievement test, because that’s what NCLB is all about, using James John as an example, the surrounding elementary schools do just as well, so does it really matter? “Of course it depends on the school – some are nearly impossible to get into, a select few are quite easy – but you should not enter into the process assuming that you will be successful.” http://www.scooponschools.com/lottery-basics/
    I feel the lottery doesn’t cause segregation, but a lot of different issues. Schools that already see segregation won’t see less because of the lottery. We won’t see parents in better neighborhoods picking James John necessarily, or a school that hasn’t performed well in previous years, or has issues. I think kids go to the nearest school that they live by, because of conveniece. Unfortunately, we hope that it is the best education the child will get, but that depends on the child, teacher, resources, funding, etc

  2. I find it interesting that the lottery system is not completely random. Applicants are ranked before being entered into the lottery. I don’t believe the lottery system segregates even though students are ranked first, but I think, like Lisa said above, that many factors contribute to segregation. Charter schools take some time and commitment and some parents lack both, others simply don’t have the resources to pursue anything beyond a standard local public school. These seem more likely as factors contributing to segregation. If the students in the lottery system are segregated to begin with how will they improve that?
    This quote from the first link really…really stood out to me “Mr. Orfield said that schools with mostly minority and poor students were likely to have fewer resources, less assertive parent groups and less experienced teachers.” What a combination that is! Those students have everything against them getting a decent education when they actually need everything going for them. Like Nicole said, how do we change this so that all students get the same education and the same opportunities?

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