School choice, segregation, and academic outcomes: educational trajectories under a controlled choice student assignment policy Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Jones-Sanpei, Hinckley Ann
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Public Policy
  • During the past twenty years there has been an increase in the number and variety of school choice policy options in education. Influential articles and reports such as A Nation at Risk document the failures of our public education system with tales of gaps in achievement by race, gender, social class, and country. School choice is widely discussed as a solution to these, and other, issues. Administered appropriately, proponents argue, school choice could liberate low-income and minority students from their underperforming schools and give them access to the higher performing schools of the upper and middle class. Yet, there is also evidence of unintended consequences resulting from school choice such as increased racial and socioeconomic segregation. The three papers included in this dissertation discuss and evaluate different aspects of school choice. The first paper, "Evaluating School Choice: Considerations for Research and Policy," discusses the varieties and extent of school choice currently available in the United States, summarizes the multidisciplinary theory that frames school choice research, and develops a conceptual framework based on theory and educational purpose as a guide to future evaluations. The second paper, "Racial and Socioeconomic Segregation in a District with Controlled School Choice," uses a multilevel comparison model to examine the relationship between a controlled choice student assignment plan and racial and socioeconomic segregation over an eleven-year period. Findings indicate an increase in school-level racial and socioeconomic segregation within the district during the implementation of the student assignment plan. The third paper, "School Choice, Racial Segregation, and Student Academic Outcomes," uses a multilevel growth model to examine the impact of attending racially segregated schools on academic test scores. The results confirm previous research regarding the racial achievement gap and indicate no discernable effect on student achievement growth over time that can be attributed to the racial makeup of the school.
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  • Orthner, Dennis K.
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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