Peabody Reflector

Cutting-edge talk about school choice

Beyond the Mall, Summer 2010 | No Comment | |

With the Obama administration highlighting school choice as a likely reform strategy, interest in how parents choose a school is more intense than ever. “School Choice and School Improvement: Research into State, District and Community Contexts,” was hosted by the National Center on School Choice in late October.

The conference looked at school choice issues as top researchers from across the country discussed the topic in its expanding array of forms, including charter schools, magnet schools and vouchers and inter- and intra-district choice programs. The conference explored such questions as: What leads parents to choose charter or private schools over the nearby public school, and how do they make those decisions? What can be done when family choices or district policies increase segregation at both traditional public schools and schools of choice? Do charter schools skim the best students and teachers away from neighborhood public schools? How is school choice playing out in countries other than the United States?

The conference brought together 130 scholars, graduate students and practitioners from 22 states as well as Australia, Ecuador and the Netherlands. Practitioners included teachers, school administrators, state education officials, foundation officers and representatives of advocacy groups. Discussions focused on how place matters in the world of school choice. Choice programs vary greatly across different communities, districts and states and so do their effects on schools, families and expectations about education.

For more, visit National Center on School Choice.

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