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ERIC Number: ED508629
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 112
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The Evolution of School Choice Consumers: Parent and Student Voices on the Second Year of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. SCDP Report 0701
Cornman, Stephen Q.; Stewart, Thomas; Wolf, Patrick J.
School Choice Demonstration Project
On January 23, 2004, President Bush signed the DC School Choice Incentive Act into law. This landmark piece of legislation included $14 million in funding for what would come to be called the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP). The OSP is the first federally funded K-12 scholarship program in the country and is designed to provide approximately 1,700 low-income DC children with tuition scholarships worth up to $7,500 to cover the costs of attending participating K-12 nonpublic schools in the District. The pilot program is authorized to operate for five years and is being implemented by a group of non-profit organizations headed by the Washington Scholarship Fund (WSF). In addition to extending educational choices to an economically disadvantaged group of DC families, the OSP also provides the opportunity to learn more about what happens when more families have the opportunity and responsibility to choose a private school for their children. The U.S. Department of Education, through the Institute for Education Sciences, has contracted for the conduct of a rigorous experimental evaluation of the impact of the Program on a number of student outcomes including student achievement. In this report, the authors provide information from a separate, independent, qualitative assessment of how families are experiencing the Program, including why they are seeking choice, how they are selecting schools, what challenges they are facing, and how parents, students, schools, and the OSP are working to try to realize the goals of the Program. Included in the report is information about what seems to be working well, what problems have been encountered along the way, and recommendations from parents and students regarding how the Program can better serve their needs. The information presented in this report was gleaned from 28 personal interviews in the fall of 2005 and 12 focus groups conducted in the spring of 2006 with the parents and older students of approximately 100 families participating in the OSP. Appendices include: (1) Tables by family segments; and (2) Methodology. (Contains 4 tables, 2 figures and 160 footnotes.)
School Choice Demonstration Project. Department of Education Reform, University of Arkansas, 201 Graduate Education Building, Fayetteville, AR 72701. Tel: 479-575-3172; Fax: 479-575-3196; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation
Authoring Institution: University of Arkansas, School Choice Demonstration Project (SCDP)
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia