Mickelson, Roslyn A., & Southworth, Stephanie
When Opting Out is not a Choice: Implications for NCLB's Transfer Option from Charlotte, North Carolina
Examines the implementation and early outcomes of No Child Left Behind's voluntary transfer option for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School after end of court-mandated desegregation.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Equity and Excellence in Education
Vol. 38, pp. 1-15
- Court-mandated desegregation ended in June 2002.
- Resegregation by SES and race rampant post-2002.
- Student achievement linked to school SES composition.
- CMS became noticeably more resegregated during the first year of the family Choice Plan's operation, 2002-2003.
- Under and overutilization patterns are related to the schools' racial composition.
- The new pupil assignment plan created scores of schools where it is now more difficult to achieve AYP, and as predicted the achievement levels of all CMS students were affected by the mean of the schools they attended.
- Students who attend a school with high concentrations of poor students tend to score lower than comparable students who attend schools with low concentrations of low-income families.
- It is clear that opting out cannot provide the expected equality of educational opportunity safety valve to CMS students in low performing schools if no seats are available to them in high-performing ones.
- Very few parents use their choice options because overcapacity problem of high performing schools, parents of low performing schools tend to be undereducated/ or non-English speaking adults who are less involved in children's education, lack of timely information.
- In practice, students in high-poverty transferring out became essentially an empty promise in CMS.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, Accountability, Brown vs Board of Education, Choice, No Child Left Behind, Parents, Poverty, Resegregation
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Case study examines CMS's record of equity and excellence in the post-Swann era.
- Official documents provided by CMS and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI).
- Interviews of CMS students, their parents, educators, and other significant public and private actors, that attended community forums and school board meetings.