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The School Choice Journey: Parents Experiencing More than Improved Test Scores

By Thomas Stewart and Patrick J. Wolf
American Enterprise Institute
January 2015

Key Points

  • Studies indicate that low-income parents participating in the District of Columbia’s private-school choice program prioritize—at least initially—the safety of schools over schools’ academic quality as they transition from public schools. Furthermore, when evaluating their child’s academic progress, parents do not view standardized test scores as a key metric of success.
  • Most interestingly, these urban parents report that they want to be respected as advocates of their child’s education and will fight hard to keep their child’s private-school choice program if that program’s future is threatened.
  • These lessons should be considered when designing and implementing publicly funded, means-tested programs in an effort to break the cycle of poverty among low-income families and disadvantaged communities.

 

Read The School Choice Journey here.