Godwin, R. Kenneth, Leland, Suzanne, Baxter, Andrew, & Southworth, Stephanie
Sinking Swann: Public School Choice and the Resegregation of Charlotte's Public Schools
University of North Carolina Charlotte
Evaluates two public school assignment policies (open enrollment & mandatory choice, not using race or ethnicity in assignment) using data from CMS.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Review of Policy Research
Vol. 23, No. 5, pp.983-997
- Policy change to mandatory choice caused increase in the number of segregated schools in the district.
- While new assignment policy may have been "race neutral" its impacts were not.
- Widespread public school choice in CMS increased socioeconomic and ethnic sorting among students and amplified the differences in test-score gaps among different set of students.
- Being from a family that actively seeks out alternative to the assigned school is likely to have a positive impact on student's academic outcomes, but attending a choice school does not have a positive impact.
- Public school choice in Charlotte was a policy failure. In addition, to failing to meet its academic goals, the choice system also failed to gain community support, especially among minorities.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Accountability, Achievement Gap, Choice, Desegregation, Math, Reading, Resegregation
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Fixed Effects Regression Models
Charlotte Mecklenburg School District
Unit of Analysis:
- Individual level data on CMS students and the schools to which they were assigned in 2000, 2001 and 2002
- Data included end of grade test scores for each student as well as basic student information.
- Data allows to calculate whether the student chose an alternative to her assigned school prior to 2002, and whether the student chose an alternative to her home school in 2002.
- Students in CMS who were in 5th through the 8th grade in the Spring of 2003.
- DV: standardized scores of the end of grade math and reading (EOG scores).
- IV: student's ethnicity, gender, grade, free and reduced lunch status, residence, percent of students eligible free lunch, whether the student enrolled in her first-choice school, and whether the student previously attended a magnet to thematic school.