Thursday, April 7, 2016
School choice: high-achieving students switch to high-quality schools, low-achieving students transfer to low-quality schools.
In recent decades, school choice policies predicated on student mobility have gained prominence as urban districts address chronically low-performing schools. However, scholars have highlighted equity concerns related to choice policies. The case of post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans provides an opportunity to examine student mobility patterns in a choice-based district.
This paper analyzes student mobility between and within the various sectors and school types using a multinomial framework. The authors find rates of student mobility in post-Katrina New Orleans to be similar to other traditional urban school districts. Overall, the results indicate that high-achieving students switch to high-quality schools whereas low-achieving students transfer to low-quality schools.