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ERIC Number: ED542701
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 44
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 28
School Choice in the States: A Policy Landscape
Davis, Jennifer
Council of Chief State School Officers
The question of whether and how to offer students the option of attending a school other than the one assigned by their residence is a hotly debated issue with substantial implications for policymaking. Whether pursued as an effort to increase the availability of high-quality options in communities without equal access; to drive improvement through marketplace competition; or to promote individual liberty, school choice options are undoubtedly increasing across America. Yet in the midst of expansion, the body of research literature suggests that the impact of school choice programs on outcomes--such as student success, school and community composition, and system improvement--is poorly understood and can vary greatly across programs. Some research shows positive effects, while other research shows negative effects or unintended consequences. Numerous studies show no generalizable effects, suggesting that outcomes heavily depend on context and policy design. Therefore, in order to support its member chief state school officers in making critical decisions about school choice policies, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has undertaken an effort to encourage the discussion of school choice policies across its membership. As an initial follow-up to its recent policy statement on school choice (below), CCSSO has attempted to address the often-asked question "What are other states doing?" by creating an ideologically-agnostic landscape analysis of school choice policies across the states. By highlighting policy coverage and characteristics from best available data across the states and for the full spectrum of existing school choice options, the paper intends to help chiefs contextualize their policy sets within national trends. The paper does not attempt to comment on which policy sets are "right," nor does it answer questions about outcomes or consequences. Nevertheless, the policy landscape provides a knowledge base upon which subsequent inquiry can occur. (Contains 8 tables, 13 figures and 5 footnotes.)
Council of Chief State School Officers. One Massachusetts Avenue NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-336-7016; Fax: 202-408-8072; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council of Chief State School Officers
Identifiers - Location: United States