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ERIC Number: ED508493
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Pages: 36
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Disruptive Behavior: An Empirical Evaluation of School Misconduct and Market Accountability. School Choice Issues in Depth
Forster, Greg; Carr, Matthew
Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation
Opponents of school choice argue that private schools are not "accountable" because they are not subject to detailed oversight by a regulatory bureaucracy. They claim private school employees can be expected to engage in abusive and criminal behavior more frequently. School choice supporters respond that parents hold private schools accountable through market choices--when parents can choose their children's schools, they can avoid sending their children to schools that don't have adequate safeguards against employee misconduct and can punish the occurrence of misconduct by withdrawing their children from schools where it occurs. These factors create powerful market incentives for private schools to maintain strong safeguards against employee misconduct. Teachers and staff commit misconduct in both public and private schools. Teachers and staff commit misconduct in both public and private schools. The important questions for school choice policy is whether "market accountability" is as effective as "regulatory accountability" in preventing school misconduct. However, despite the urgency of the question, no previous empirical studies have systematically compared misconduct levels in public and private schools. This study uses the Nexis database to measure the frequency of employee misconduct at public and private schools in states that have school choice programs. It finds that cases of school misconduct occur disproportionately in public schools rather than in private schools. The study then applies a statistical test to these data, finding that they provide grounds for confidence that private schools subject to market accountability really are less likely to engage in misconduct than public schools subject to regulatory accountability. (Contains 14 tables and 8 endnotes.)
Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation. Available from: Foundation for Educational Choice. One American Square Suite 2420, Indianapolis, IN 46282. Tel: 317-681-0745; Fax: 317-681-0945; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; District of Columbia; Florida; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Minnesota; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Utah; Vermont; Wisconsin