• Do Parents Do as They Say? Choosing Indianapolis Charter Schools
    Year: 2011

  • Abstract:
    Why do parents choose? In previous studies it has been found that parents indicate that academics are one of the main drivers of their choice of a charter public school in which to enroll their children. However, it may be that surveys are potentially biased due perhaps in part to social desirability of response, method bias, and the difficulty in asking pointed questions on such matters as race and ethnicity and social class. Using a unique dataset of charter schools authorized by the mayor in Indianapolis, this paper compares parents’ stated reasons for choosing a charter school versus revealed preferences as evidenced by actual school switching behavior. The researchers find that while a majority of parents indicated that academics were a top priority in their choice of charter school there was little evidence of this in actual switching patterns based on academic achievement and adequate yearly progress ratings of the sending and receiving schools.

    This paper is published in a book from the Harvard Education Press.

The NCSC is funded by a 5 year, $13.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences. Its lead institution is Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. The center is housed on the campus of Peabody College, one of the nation's top graduate schools of education.