What Do We Know (and Need to Know) about the Impact of School Choice Reforms on Disadvantaged Students?
Dan D. Goldhaber and Eric R. Eide
In this article, Dan Goldhaber and Eric Eide consider what we do and do not know about the impact of school choice, focusing particularly on the potential impact of choice on minority students in urban school settings. They observe that many argue that school choice is a necessary component of any educational reform designed to improve educational outcomes for students. While public pressure has yielded a tremendous expansion of choice options, Goldhaber and Eide contend that the empirical evidence on the academic effects of school choice reforms is mixed. They propose that relatively little evidence exists that these schools are having a clear-cut positive or negative impact on the achievement of either the students who attend them or those who remain in traditional public schools. They conclude that the mixed evidence on choice suggests that choice in and of itself is unlikely to be the solution that revolutionizes urban school systems. (pp. 157-176)