Public School Choice and Student Achievement in the District of Columbia

Brief

Public School Choice and Student Achievement in the District of Columbia

February 10, 2011

Abstract

This study examines the multi-faceted public school choice environment in the District of Columbia and the effects of alternative public schools on the achievement levels of students who exercise this type of school choice. The results indicate that students who attend out-of-boundary public schools and charter schools significantly outperform similar students who attend in-boundary public schools in both reading and math tests. We rely on instrumental variables framework to disentangle the underlying reasons behind this achievement gap and find that the observed differences are likely due to the positive effects of alternative public schools.

Research Area: 

Cross-Center Initiative

Cross-Center Initiative: 
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