NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1093092
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Schools of Choice: Expanding Opportunity for Urban Minority Students
West, Martin R.
Education Next, v16 n2 p46-54 Spr 2016
The study for which James S. Coleman is best known today makes no mention of private education. The 1966 "Equality of Educational Opportunity" (EEO) study--better known as the Coleman Report--focused exclusively on the distribution of resources and student achievement in America's "public" schools. The report's ink was barely dry before Coleman injected the issue of school choice into the discussion. Coleman noted that residential mobility brought about a high degree of racial segregation in education, as well as segregation by income, and that it is the disadvantaged who are least able to select a school that continues to function reasonably well. With such concerns in mind, Coleman jumped at the opportunity when the U.S. Department of Education in 1979 asked him to lead another national survey of American students, known as "High School and Beyond," which included both public and private schools. In the "High School and Beyond" study, Coleman's team reported that students in Catholic high schools both learned more and had higher graduation rates than their public-school peers. This article discusses criticisms of Coleman's methodological approach and conclusions about the superior effectiveness of Catholic schools, and describes research that has been conducted as a result of Coleman's initial findings, including studies evaluating the effectiveness of school voucher programs, private schools, and charter schools. [This article is part of a new "Education Next" series commemorating the 50th anniversary of James S. Coleman's groundbreaking report, "Equality of Educational Opportunity." The full series will appear in the Spring 2016 issue of "Education Next."]
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A