Community and Neighborhood Effects of School Choice
PIs: Michael Flicek, Ron Houser, Northwest Evaluation Association
This study explored the impact of open enrollment on the socioeconomic and achievement status of peer groups within magnet or regular public schools. The investigation took place within one school system that serves about 11,500 students. The system does not have attendance areas, and transportation is provided to a chosen school. Using mapping software, about 5,000 elementary students were divided into two groups based on attender status. Near attenders were attending one of the two closest schools to their address; far attenders were not. Using the proportion of far versus near attenders, schools were classified as neighborhood, magnet, or unclassified.
At magnet schools, findings show that open enrollment is associated with higher socioeconomic and achievement status. At regular public schools, it is associated with lower peer status on these dimensions. However, results also suggest that students in magnet schools--unlike those in neighborhood schools--experience low achievement growth in both reading and math. Overall attender status does not predict reading or math initial status or growth. Within several school types by socioeconomic status groups, on the other hand, far attenders have lower achievement scores than those who live nearby.
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The Impact of Robust Implementation of Intra-District Open Enrollment: A Case Study (2006)