Cobb, Casey, & Glass, Gene
School Choice in a Post-Desegregation World
University of Connecticut; Arizona State University
Discusses evidence with respect to regulated and unregulated school choice.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Peabody Journal of Education
Vol. 84, No. 2, pp. 262-278
- By influencing the racial and social class composition of schools, choice programs help determine the human capital obtained by students and families.
- Exposure to new cultural and social forms of human capital can lead to enhanced life opportunities for all children, but particularly to those who do not otherwise have access to such capital in a hegemonic society.
- School choice student assignment strategies, whether they are race-conscious, race-neutral, or unregulated, can produce very different patterns of student enrollment.
- Key empirical findings of previous research are: (1) Choice Assignment programs that ignore students' race, class, or achievement levels run the risk of exacerbating stratification, (2) Controlled choice programs have the potential to redress minority and economic isolation, (3) Evidence is not strong that unregulated choice programs consistently provide educational benefits either in terms of increased student achievement or increased organizational innovation
- Unregulated choice programs make it more difficult for students of color to attend schools with more diverse peer environments.
- The effects of voluntary desegregation programs, such as magnets, on school racial and socioeconomic composition appear to depend on specific contextual conditions (demographic, legal, historical). Which conditions lend themselves to more or less racial integration continues to be the subject of research.
- Studying the impact of a choice program on academic achievement would mean not simply looking at the average achievement levels among students in a choice school or a choice program, but rather examining academic performance among students from all social classes or from all racial groups in the greater system. Choice affects not just those who participate but nonchoosers as well.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Choice, Cultural Capital, Human Capital, Racial Composition
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Previous studies by: Bifulco, Ladd, & Ross, 2009; Holme & Richards, 2009; Koedel, Betts, Rice & Zau, 2009; Bell, 2009; Saporito, 2009; Smrekar, 2009; Linn & Welner, 2007; Huerta, 2009; Scott & Villavicencio, 2009; Lubienski & Lubienski, 2006; Lubienski, Weitzel, and Lubienski, 2009, among others.
- Examines literature pertaining to three claims: 1. Choice assignment programs that ignore students’ race, class, or achievement levels run the risk of exacerbating stratification. 2. Controlled choice programs have the potential to redress minority and economic isolation. 3. Evidence is not strong that unregulated choice programs consistently provide educational benefits either in terms of increased student achievement or increased organizational innovation