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ERIC Number: ED513892
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 425
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-0343-9
Magnetizing Public Education Neoliberalism and the Evolution of School Choice in Cincinnati, Ohio
Parrillo, Adam John
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Cincinnati
The research is to understand the historical sociopolitical context of the emergence of school choice, more specifically magnet schools, and the consequences of this choice on student enrollment patterns. The approach is a critical examination of Neoliberalism as an ideology and polarizing sociopolitical movement and the intersection of this ideological movement with the desegregation efforts of the civil rights era that culminated with voluntary choice in the form of magnet schools as the court accepted and government supported policy reform. Overall, five hypotheses are proposed. First, it is hypothesized that (1) magnet schools have better racial balance measures than non-magnet schools, (2) non-magnet schools contain racially isolated student populations (racial polarization), and (3) magnet schools are more effective at achieving desegregation than non-magnet schools. Next, it is hypothesized that (1) students attending magnet schools are from neighborhoods with higher median household income than non-magnet students (socioeconomic polarization) and (2) students attending magnet schools travel longer distances to school than non-magnets students. This study covers eight years of student enrollment data, ranging from the 1999-2000 to the 2006-2007 (1999-2006) school years, for Cincinnati Public School District high schools. For the first grouping of hypotheses, previously accepted race ratio analyses are conducted comparing that racial compositions of student populations in magnet and non-magnet high schools. For the second group of hypotheses, parametric (t-test) and nonparametric (Mann-Whitney & Two-Sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov) means comparison tests are utilized to compare the family income levels and distances traveled to schools of students in magnet and non-magnet schools. The first group of three hypotheses is confirmed, where (1) magnet schools have better racial balances than non-magnets, (2) non-magnet schools have higher levels of racial isolation than magnets, and (3) magnet schools are much more effective at achieving desegregation results. The second group two hypotheses is also confirmed, where (1) students that attend magnet schools come from neighborhoods with significantly higher average median incomes than non-magnet students and (2) students that attend magnet schools travel longer distances to school than non-magnet students. This study demonstrates the connection between Neoliberalism and the emergence of magnet schools as the de facto mechanism for desegregating public schools. This is first explored through the ideological and historical foundations of both the Neoliberal sociopolitical movement and magnet school choice. This is finally exemplified in the polarizing outcomes of magnet school policies; marketized choice mechanisms that segregate student populations by established societal hierarchies of ethnicity and socioeconomic class. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio