Implementing School Choice in Charlotte, NC

Director: Justine Hastings
Research Theme: Persistent Disparities in Health and Human Capital
Location: United States of America
Funding: US Dept of Education (Research on Education Finance Leadership and Management)

Schooling choice can lead to persistent disparities if individuals in different groups have different levels of access to good schools or make different types of decisions about which schools to attend. This project investigates impacts on student outcomes, competitiveness and racial segregation as a result of the implementation of a new public-school choice system that was first approved in December 2001 by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. In this study, Hastings looks at the consequences of winning one’s first choice school in a choice lottery. Interestingly, there are substantial differences by race in her study area. The results suggest that whites are much more focused on better school performance in making choices, but that these differences disappear when information on average school-exam scores is distributed along with school-choice materials.