ERIC Number: ED396388
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Meaningful Competition? A Study of Student Movement under Interdistrict Open Enrollment in Ohio.
Fowler, Frances C.
This paper presents findings of a study that analyzed participation patterns and the movement of students and state funds in Ohio during the 1993-94 school year, the first year during which Ohio's interdistrict open-enrollment law was fully implemented. The theoretical framework for the study was drawn from economics and business theories of markets and competition. Methodology included analysis of government records based on Ohio Department of Education data. The findings suggest that the "educational market" is an imperfect one in which it will be difficult to achieve meaningful competition in certain contexts. One of the major effects of Ohio's interdistrict open-enrollment policy was to move state funds away from school districts that served relatively larger percentages of poor and minority children. The study raises serious doubts about the potential for underfunded school-choice policies to bring about meaningful competition in large metropolitan areas. It also suggests that the most vulnerable districts under such choice policies may be small and medium-sized city districts that have higher percentages of poor and minority children than their neighbors. Meaningful competition and education improvement may, however, occur in rural areas. There is a need for longitudinal studies of school choice in a variety of contexts, similar to those that have been conducted in the United Kingdom. Ten tables are included. The appendix lists the government records used in the analysis. (Contains 28 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).