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Educational policy analysis archives
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Educational policy analysis archives.
n Vol. 11, no. 39 (October 20, 2003).
Tempe, Ariz. :
b Arizona State University ;
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida.
c October 20, 2003
Baselines for assessment of choice programs / Paul T. Hill [and] Kacey Guin.
x Research
v Periodicals.
2 710
Arizona State University.
University of South Florida.
1 773
t Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA)
4 856


1 of 31 A peer-reviewed scholarly journal Editor: Gene V Glass College of Education Arizona State University Copyright is retained by the first or sole author, who grants right of first publication to the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES EPAA is a project of the Education Policy Studies Laboratory. Articles appearing in EPAA are abstracted in the Current Index to Journals in Education by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation and are permanently archived in Resources in Education Volume 11 Number 39October 20, 2003ISSN 1068-2341Baselines for Assessment of Choice Programs Paul T. Hill University of Washington Kacey Guin University of WashingtonCitation: Hill, P. T. & Guin, K. (2003, October 20) Baselines for assessment of choice programs. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11 (39). Retrieved [Date] from of choice argue that it will allow alert an d aggressive parents to get the best of everything for their chi ldren, leaving poor and minority children concentrated in the wors t schools. (Note 1) But choice is not the only mechanism whereby this occurs. Alert and aggressive parents work the burea ucracy to get the best for their children. Thus, choice programs should be compared against the real performance of the curren t public education system, not its idealized aspirations. The purpose of this article is to establish an appr opriate baseline against which choice programs can be assessed. How far does the c urrent system of bureaucratic allocation diverge from its aspiration s for equal opportunity for all? Under the current system how much are students sort ed by race and class, and


2 of 31 how unevenly allocated are the best and worst educa tional experiences? The answers to these questions are important for two re asons: First, they establish defensible baselines against which choice programs can be compared. If the current ways of al locating educational opportunities leads to inequality by ra ce, class, or income, then choice programs should not be assessed against the ideal. Instead, their results should be compared to the actual performance of the existing system.Second, they establish criteria for the design of c hoice programs. Regardless of whether choice programs are on averag e better or worse than other ways of allocating educational pro grams, there are still ethical reasons for trying to design choice s chemes to equalize access to the best schools and teachers. Bureaucratic modes of decision-making do not elimin ate self-seeking – they only make it covert. When the supply of desirable s chools, programs, or teachers is limited the most aggressive get the bes t and by implication deprive others. In bureaucracies, the advantage goes to peo ple who have contacts, understand how the game is played, can talk the lan guage of key administrators, can write letters and threaten appe als, and have the time and determination to persist. These attributes have a s trong class bias. As a result, bureaucratic decision-making can create segregation of students and uneven distribution of benefits. These, of course, are the very outcomes that people fear choice will produce.Choice is another mechanism by which people seek th e best for themselves and their children. The most knowledgeable are firs t to identify the best opportunities, and the most aggressive are the ones most likely to sign up early, know how to get the most advantageous place in a lo ttery, and be able to impress people (e.g. admissions officers) who can p ick from among many applicants.Self-seeking would not matter if all schools, teach ers, or courses were equally good. But that is not the case. To the contrary, so me schools are much better than others, even when quality is measured fairly o n the basis of what they add to their students’ knowledge. (Note 2) There is also reason to believe that some teachers are much better than others (Note 3) and also that some courses of study are much more likely to prepare students for jobs and higher education than others. (Note 4) Because some students thrive in schools that would not be good for other students, there is more than one way to rank quality. But however quality is defined, the “best” schools and teachers are usually in short supply. That is why the most respected private scho ols have long waiting lists and why parents camp out in parking lots to registe r their children in public magnet schools.Some public school districts try to provide a quali ty school for every student, but they are thwarted by scarcity. There are only so ma ny experienced teachers, only so many principals who can create a positive s chool climate, and only so many people who both understand science and mathema tics and want to teach


3 of 31 those subjects. Schools are like any other enterpri se that depends on people. Only so many children can take chemistry from the f abled teacher whose students regularly end up in medical school. Someon e will get the burned out old teacher in his last year, or the brand new teac her whose command of subject matter and classroom management skills is s haky. Some schools or districts might maximize the average quality of the ir staffs, encourage the burned-out to retire earlier, or do a better job of mentoring inexperienced teachers. But there will always be differences in q uality, both real and perceived.Scarcity begets competition. Though some parents wi ll knowingly accept less than the best for their children, many will not. Am ong those who try to get the best (or to spare their children contact with the w orst), some will fare better than others. Those who do not try to compete will probab ly do worse than even the least successful competitors. (Note 5) How people compete for schools and teachers depends on the way opportunities are allocated. When parents are free to apply to any public school, the most competitive study the options, apply early and try to make sure they apply to some desirable schools where the probabili ty of admission is high. When parents are assigned to schools, the most comp etitive learn who are the best and worst teachers and programs and campaign t o get these for their children. (Note 6) (Note 7) The rules of competition inevitably allocate advant ages and disadvantages. When the rules allow exceptions to mandatory school assignment, families eager to get the best for their children learn how decisions are made and frame their transfer appeals in then appropriate terms. T hey also figure out who makes the final decision on transfer requests, and seek ways to get consideration. Thus, choice is only one way of allo cating educational opportunities. Self-seeking and competition are uni versal. Only the means differ.The advantage of choice is that advantage seeking i s transparent, its effects can be readily observed, and it can be designed out (e.g. via admissions lotteries). Self-seeking in bureaucracies is covert and is therefore harder to observe and remedy.Whether choice or bureaucratic decision-making lead to a “fairer” allocation of opportunities is an empirical question. Under both systems, the advantaged are likely to get a disproportionate share of the best and the disadvantaged are likely to get the worst. Thus the question for publ ic debate is not whether choice leads to inequalities but whether it leads to any g reater inequalities than does non-choice.Perhaps a better way to formulate this question is whether overt choice leads to the same or lesser inequities than does covert choi ce. As David Menefee-Libey of Pomona College has suggested, someone always exe rcises choices, even in bureaucratic systems. What matters is whether every one or just some people have choices, and whether choices are made openly o r in secret. Overt school choice occurs when everyone can choose and everyone who picks a particular


4 of 31 school has an equal chance of getting in. Covert ch oice occurs when there are no structured mechanisms for expressing choices and allocating opportunities, so that families who want particular options are fo rced to campaign for them. Because families must go out of their way to expres s choices, and must work the bureaucracy to get what they want, covert choic e strongly favors the sophisticated and well placed.Critics of overt education choice proposals assert that they make matters worse for the disadvantaged and promote development of pr ivileged enclaves for the advantaged. The implication of these statements is that choice makes things worse than they are now. But the evidence provided is often quite different. It shows that overt choice leads to some unequal outco mes, but it does not show that choice leads to more unequal outcomes than the covert choice system that now prevails.Establishing a BaselineCritics claim that choice will worsen segregation a nd other forms of inequity. This article asks, compared to what? The proper bas eline against which to assess the effects of choice is the current system’ s performance, not some idealized situation in which no differences exist. As Stephen Gorard and his colleagues observe about universal choice in Britai n, “The stratifying effect of market forces in schools depends, to large extent, on the status ante What we have shown is not that choice is SES-free but that it is certainly no worse, and probably a great deal better, than simply assigning children to their nearest school to be educated with similar children living in similar housing conditions.” (Note 8) Using the current system’s performance as a baselin e for comparison does not imply satisfaction with things as they are. Program s that rely on choice should be designed to produce less segregation and more eq uitable distributions of resources and opportunity than now exist. This arti cle, however, focuses narrowly on whether defenders of the current system are justified in opposing choice on grounds that it inevitably worsens segreg ation and inequitable distribution of resources. Our narrow question is t his: if public funds were used to create many options for families, and families w ere free to choose among those options, would segregation and inequity be wo rse than it is now? We provide a baseline of evidence by which the cons equences of choice can be compared with the results of the current public school system. Some critics of choice would like to compare it against an ideal ized form of the current system: Gary Orfield, among others, asserts that th e current system can be perfected to eliminate any form of segregation, eve n those based on residential choices. He argues for “deny[ing privileged familie s] the possibility of finding nearby all-white schools,” (Note 9) via creation of metropolitan-wide school districts, and massive busing to ensure racial mixi ng in all schools regardless of residential segregation. It is beyond the scope of this paper to assess the political, legal, and financial costs of such a sch eme, or its implications for the health and education of children.In establishing a baseline we will focus on the sor ting effects of several


5 of 31 bureaucratic processes endemic to conventional publ ic school systems. (Note 10) These include student assignment and resource allo cation processes that lead to disadvantaged children to experience: Racially isolated schools; Less money per pupil and less capable teachers; Restricted access to instructional programs that en hance life opportunities; Enhanced access to instructional programs that limi t life opportunities. The article has two main sections. The first main s ection immediately below analyzes the ways that each of the harms listed abo ve can occur in conventional public school systems, and summaries o f the available evidence about how often and how severely these harms actual ly occur. The second main section identifies they ways in whi ch these same harms can occur under choice programs, and summarizes availab le evidence about the performance of choice programs. This section is ine vitably weakly-evidenced and tentative, since existing choice programs are s mall and often designed to serve the poor and ensure integration. Universal ch oice programs (in which every family chooses and every school is a school o f choice) might work differently than the exemplars available for study today.The Harms of the Existing System Racially Isolated SchoolsEliminating segregation by race has been a dominant concern of public school systems since the Brown decision in 1954. Every large school system has ha d a desegregation plan, whether court-ordered or volunt ary, and the U.S. Department of Education has monitored racial isolat ion in every school district large and small. No school district has an overt se gregation policy, and most have made significant efforts to create racially mi xed student bodies. However, as we will discuss immediately below, most district s remain segregated to some degree, and segregation has recently increased. (Note 11) How does this happen? In part it happens because of processes that school systems do not control: housing economics, demograp hic change, and geography. Low-income families, including the major ity of Hispanic and African American households, cluster in neighborhoods with low-cost housing. Wealthier families, most of which are white, avoid living in these neighborhoods. Lower-income minority families also have more child ren than higher-income white families. This leads to concentrations of min ority children in certain neighborhoods. (Note 12) In many cities (e.g. Seattle) transportation betwee n white and minority neighborhoods is complicated by bridges and choked freeways, making it very difficult to move children from one neighborhood to another.Public school systems can exacerbate these problems by maintaining attendance boundaries that divide neighboring minor ity and white areas. They can respond to growing minority enrollments by enla rging schools deep in


6 of 31 minority areas rather than by developing new school s in areas accessible to people of all races. They can also create admission s processes for attractive magnet schools that give the advantage to aggressiv e, articulate, and well-connected middle class parents. Finally, they can limit the supply of schools that students from all neighborhoods want t o attend, e.g. by maintaining a fixed set of schools rather than expanding or dup licating magnet schools that have long waiting lists. Taken together these actio ns can lead to significant segregation by race and ethnicity.The Baseline Level of Racially Isolated SchoolingReports from the Harvard Project on Civil Rights pr ovide data on segregation nationwide. One simple measure is the proportion of white students in schools attended by students of different races. In 1999, t he school attended by a typical white student was 81.2% white, 8.6% African -American, 6.6% Latino, 2.8% Asian, and 0,8% American Indian. In contrast, the school, attended by a typical African American student was 32.6% white an d 54.5% black. Latinos were even more segregated: the typical Latino stude nt attended a school that was only 29.9% white. (Note 13) Though school segregation has decreased markedly si nce 1960, separation of white and minority students has increased since 198 8. In the South, as Orfield reports, the proportion of black students enrolled in majority white students declined from 43.5% in 1988 to 32.7% in 1998. (Note 14) Much of the recent growth in segregation has been c aused by a decline in the numbers of white students in the schools (from 34.7 million in 1988 to 28.9 million in 1998) and growth in the numbers of minor ity students (from 8.3 million to 14.8 million in the same period). (Note 15) Changes have been most dramatic in the west, where whites went from 63.3% of public school enrollment to 51.9% in the 11-year period between 1987-1998. M any big cities have also become minority enclaves. In 1998, white students m ade up less than 20% of the public school population in 18 of the 25 larges t cities. Schools in Chicago Detroit, Dallas, New Orleans, DC and Atlanta are no more than 10% white. (Note 16) Thus, in some localities there is no way to avoid h aving some overwhelmingly minority schools.Segregation is pronounced even in states with few m inority students. For example, in 1998, the typical black student in a st ate in which only 1 in 16 students was black is likely to attend a school in which more than 1 in 2 students was black. (Note 17) Nationwide, black students, who made up only 18% of the school population in 1998, had a 37% cha nce of going to schools where blacks made up more than 90% of the student b ody. (Note 18) Though data on individual school districts can be h ard to find, racial isolation is common. In Louisville, for example, black students make up 27.4 % of the high school population, but 6 of 20 high schools have st udent bodies less than 20% black and 6 have student bodies more than 40% black (Note 19) In Charlotte-Mecklenburg, like Louisville a city in wh ich white students are in the majority (54%), 27% of white students and18% of bla cks were in racially isolated schools. Under Charlotte’s court-ordered d efinition, a white student is in


7 of 31 a racially isolated school if its population is mor e than 69% white. The corresponding number for black students is 56% blac k). (Note 20) In Charlotte, more than 35% of public schools are racially isolat ed under the local definition. In a much more racially unbalanced city, the Distri ct of Columbia, whites are less than 4.3% of the school population. However, t he average white student attends a school where the combined black and Latin o population is less than 50%. (Note 21) Individual school districts will vary, but these un derlying facts reflect a common pattern. They set a baseline against which the segr egation effects of choice can be measured. Choice programs might lead to worse se gregation than we now have – to a situation where, for example, where bla cks nationwide have a greater than 50% chance of attending schools that a re more than 90% black, or where the average white student goes to a school in which even less than 20% of students are black. However, as these data show, the existing system does not live up to its rhetorical commitment to complet e racial mixing. Choice programs should surely be compared against the syst em’s real performance, not its aspirations.Dollar and Human Resource InequitiesPublic school districts receive funds from many sou rces – local property taxes, their state’s basic school funding formula, various state programs that provide money for defined purposes and various federal fund ing sources – and the districts use these funds in similarly complex ways Laypersons might expect that money is allocated to schools on a per-pupil b asis, but that is not the case. Districts buy things like teachers, books, equipmen t, expert advice, buses, school construction, and maintenance, and those thi ngs are allocated to schools via political and bureaucratic processes. T he result can be that some schools get the benefit of much higher spending, an d receive much more valuable resources, than others.The most valuable resources allocated in this way a re teachers. In virtually all school districts, teachers allocate themselves to s chools, and the most senior and highest-paid teachers get first choice. The maj ority of senior teachers choose schools in the “nicer” neighborhoods. The re sult is that the teachers who work in schools with the most advantaged studen ts are, on average, much higher-paid than teachers who work in the poorer en ds of town. The poorer students are not compensated for this difference in average teacher salaries. Instead, the district’s public accounts average out the salaries of all teachers so it does not look like the schools with many expensi ve senior teachers have any more money than the schools with many cheap new tea chers. On a real-dollar basis, per pupil expenditures are much higher in th e schools chosen by senior teachers.Though staff salaries constitute as much as 80% of school-level expenditure, districts allocate other resources to schools. Poor schools get disproportionate shares of the 10% of funds that come from federal a nd state programs intended for low-income students. This does only a little to compensate for the expenditure differences associated with teacher all ocation.


8 of 31 Funds for the education of children with disabiliti es are allocated on the basis of diagnoses of children’s needs. Parent initiative is a major factor in children’s diagnoses: more sophisticated parents demand and ge t expensive individualized placements for their children with d isabilities, while less sophisticated parents are less likely to take the i nitiative. Low-income and minority children identified with disabilities are therefore much more likely to be assigned to self-contained special education classr ooms for mental retardation or emotionally disturbance than to be “mainstreamed ” in general education classrooms and receive related services. (Note 22) Districts also control other resources, from comput ers and science lab equipment to maintenance work, and these are alloca ted on a “squeaky wheel” basis. Schools with respected principals and teache rs, and with active and well-connected parents, can capture disproportionat e shares of these resources.Though district accounting makes it extremely diffi cult to compute real-dollar per-pupil expenditures, within-district resource al location consistently favors the more aggressive and influential families and neighb orhoods.The Baseline Level of Resource Inequity.The existing system allocates the two most importan t resources in education – dollars and quality teachers – by bureaucratic mean s. The result is dramatic inequity within school districts. (Note 23) Analyzing school funding in Seattle, Cincinnati, an d Houston, Marguerite Roza found that some elementary schools in poverty neigh borhoods received real-dollar resources worth as much as $300,000 les s than was claimed by the district’s budget, and that similarly-sized schools in high-income neighborhoods got correspondingly more money that the district bu dget claimed. This was caused by a combination of placement privileges for senior teachers – which allow senior teachers to cluster in schools in high er-income neighborhoods – and average teacher costing, which charges schools the same amount for every teacher whatever that teacher’s actual salary. Unde r such a scheme schools in nice neighborhoods get a more expensive teaching fo rce than they could afford if they paid real prices for teachers, and schools in poorer neighborhoods get a much cheaper teaching force. (Note 24) When Houston school officials computed real-dollar spending in their high schools they were shocked to learn that one school in a predominantly white section of town had one million dollars more to spe nd each year than a school of the same size in a minority area. The difference they learned, was entirely due to differences in teacher pay. Teachers in the higher spending white school were older and more experienced. (Note 25) It is important to note that Seattle, Cincinnati, a nd Houston are not isolated incidents when it comes to inequalities in school f unding. State-by-state data from The Education Trust indicate that schools with a high percentage of low-income students receive anywhere from $32 to $2 700 less per student than


9 of 31 schools with a low percentage of low-income student s. (Note 26) A disparity in funding was found in 42 out of the 49 states studie d. (Note 27) Access to qualified teachers also produces inequali ties between racial and socio-economic groups. In California, the number of economically disadvantaged students in a school is positively co rrelated with the number of teachers having the least amount of teaching experi ence and holding a bachelor’s degree or less. (Note 28) This correlation is particularly strong in the elementary grades. In secondary education, national data indicate that 25% of classes in high poverty schools are taught by teach ers lacking a major or minor in the field they teach, compared to 15% of classes in low poverty schools. (Note 29) This disparity is even greater for math, where only 25% of the teachers in high poverty schools were majors in mat h, compare to 40% of higher income schools. (Note 30) Inequalities also exist based on schools’ racial co mposition. In schools where the student population is over 90% white, 69% of te achers have BAs or higher in math versus 42% in schools where 90% or more of students are minority group members. (Note 31) National data show similar disparities, with 22% of teachers in high minority secondary schools lacking a major or minor in the field they teach, compared to 16% of teachers in low mino rity schools. (Note 32) When examining the differences in human resources a mong schools, it is important to address the negative results of ineffe ctive teachers. These results can are found at both the elementary and secondary levels. In Dallas, 5th grade students who had three consecutive ineffective teac hers showed gains of only 29% in math scores, compared with an 83% gain for s tudents with three years of effective teachers. In Boston, high school stude nts had average gains of –0.6 in math and 0.3 in reading after one year with inef fective teachers, compared to students with effective teachers, who had average g ains of 14.6 and 5.6 respectively.Allocation of Opportunity-Limiting ProgramsThe fact that students come to school – any school – with different amounts of prior knowledge and different abilities presents pr oblems for teachers, schools, and districts. (Note 33) Teachers find it difficult to prepare lessons and o versee learning for students with very diverse prior exper iences and ability. Parents of the more advanced students worry that teaching will be tailored to the needs of others, and that their children will consequently l earn less than they might. Parents of the less advanced students are also fort hright in demanding that their children get extra help and attention.The response by public schools and school districts is to differentiate instruction and create homogeneous classroom groups. The federa l and state governments also provide special funding for instru ction for defined groups, especially low-achieving students, children in pove rty, and the handicapped. Some differentiation of instruction is inevitable a nd some might be desirable. But there are ways in which it can harm minority an d disadvantaged students. Removing students from regular classrooms to get sp ecial drills and tutoring


10 of 31 can mean that they never master the material that o thers learn while they are away. (Note 34) (Note 35) Reducing contact with advanced students can eliminate a potential learning opportunity. Creatin g programs that focus on low-level skills can discourage children who are ex cited about ideas and could be motivated by highly challenging instruction. Cre ating a low-status program might discourage both students and teachers and set off a downward spiral of expectations and performance. There is a raging debate about the educational valu e and ethical acceptability of the combination of ability grouping and program dif ferentiation. (Note 36) But there is little dispute about the fact that some st udents are assigned to such programs on the basis of color and family backgroun d, and that there can be significant overlaps in the ability of students ass igned to less and more challenging programs. Nor is there any doubt that p rogram assignment affects students’ likelihood of completing high school. The current system, by the way it designs special instructional programs and assigns students to them, puts some students at a grave disadvantage.The Baseline Allocation Of Opportunity-Limiting Pro gramsUCLA education researcher Jeannie Oakes is the most important source of data on the assignment of students to opportunity-l imiting courses, called tracking. In her 1985 book Keeping Track (Note 37) she shows that schools with different instructional programs for students consi dered faster and slower consistently assign minority and low-income student s to the slower tracks. Though track placement is meant to correlate with s tudent performance on achievement tests and grades in previous classes, O akes reports significant overlap in ability among children in different trac ks. She cites a high school in Rockford IL in which the math scores of students in high-track courses ranged from the 26th to the 99th percentile on national achievement tests. In the s ame school, the scores of students assigned to lower tr acks ranged between the 1st and 99th percentile. (Note 38) Oakes reports similar score patterns in various subjects throughout most of the middle and high sch ools in the Rockford and San Jose districts. In many cases, race and class appear to be better p redictors of track placement than any academic measure. For example, Oakes found that in San Jose, white students with average math on national tests scores were three times more likely to be placed in high-track math courses than Latino students with similar scores. The discrepancies for students with higher scores are even more striking: For students scoring between 90 and 99th percentile on national tests, only 56% of Latinos were placed in high-track cours es, compared to 93% of whites and 97% of Asians. Similar patterns of discr imination were found at the senior and junior high levels in Rockford. In a district in Southern California, 88% of white students who scored in the top quartile on the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills were placed in algebra classes; but only 42% of Latino and 51% of African American students who scored in the top quartile were were placed in alge bra. For students who scored in the second quartile, 11% of Latino and 16% of Af rican American students


11 of 31 were placed in algebra, compared to 83% of Asian an d 53% of white students. (Note 39) Mickelson found similar patterns in the CharlotteMecklenburg school district, where white students were far more likely than black students of equal tested ability to be assigned to higher mathematics laboratory science, and advanced courses in English and history. These resu lts held even when the researchers controlled for students’ prior achievem ent, level of effort, and parents’ education. (Note 40) Oakes also found that the same student might be in one track or another depending on the district or school she attends. St udents who might be allocated to a college preparatory track in one sch ool district would, in probability, be assigned to dead-end general or voc ational tracks in another (Note 41) Placement in lower tracks virtually guarantees that students are taught more slowly, exposed to more rudimentary content, and gi ven high grades for work that would, in other settings, be considered unacce ptable. For example, Oakes found that students in low-track science and mathem atics courses were given more worksheets, tests, and other rote forms of ins truction than the averageand high-track students. (Note 42) She also reports that students in high-track classes at a disadvantaged school frequently have l ess qualified teachers than students in low-track courses at a more advantaged school. Mickelson found that students in lower tracks are more likely to ha ve teachers who lack training in the field they are teaching. (Note 43) Several authors have documented the consequences of track placement for students’ academic success, high school graduation, completion of higher education, and lifelong income chances. Recently, R ose and Betts have shown how valuable exposure to rigorous college preparato ry courses, especially advanced mathematics, can be for minority students. (Note 44) Besides tracking, labeling students with disabiliti es is another way schools can separate students from higher-level courses. A stat e-by-state analysis by Parrish found that in 38 states, African American s tudents were more than twice as likely as white students to be identified as men tally retarded. (Note 45) In 29 states, African American students were more than tw ice as likely to be identified as emotionally disturbed. Nationally, while African American students account for 14.8 percent of the school age population, they comprise 34.3 percent of students identified with mental retardation and 26. 4 percent of students identified as emotionally disturbed. (Note 46) Students labeled in these ways are usually separated from regular classes and taug ht in “resource rooms” in which teachers instruction focuses on low-level ski lls. Oswald and colleagues found that the likelihood of a being labeled mentally retarded or emotionally disturbed varies from distr ict to district. Districts with the lowest proportions African American students are th e most likely to identify those students as emotionally disturbed. (Note 47) According to Ladner and Hammonds, (Note 48) in predominantly white districts in Texas, nearly 1 in 4 African American students is assigned to special ed ucation. (Note 49) Even more than placement in lower academic tracks, assignment to special


12 of 31 education marks students for academic failure. Acco rding to the National Longitudinal Transition Study of Special Education African Americans identified as emotionally and behaviorally disturbed had a 66% failure rate in school. The failure rate for whites so labeled was 38%. African American students with EBD were twice as likely to exit school by dropping out (58.2%) as by graduating (27.5%). (Note 50) We do not claim that lower track placements and ass ignment to special education is always inappropriate. There must be st udents who do better in those programs than they would in regular or advanc ed classrooms. However, as these data show, conventional public education u ses low-track placement and disability labels liberally, especially for dis advantaged students. The result is often a kind of segregation more complete, and m ore consequential from minority students, than segregation based openly on race.Misallocation of Opportunity-expanding ProgramsThe fact that students must all be taught to read a nd do basic arithmetic defines most elementary schools, and limits the degree to w hich they can differ from one another. Among the public elementary schools in a given district, the most important differences are due to variations in staf f quality, or to school culture difference resulting from habits of staff interacti on. Beyond those differences some schools get programs that others do not. Not e very school gets a special program for gifted and talented students. Many dist ricts offer one or two schools designed on a distinctive model of instruction, lik e Montessori. Gifted programs and special schools based on brand-name instruction al approaches are allocated on a squeaky wheel basis, either to neigh borhoods with activist parents or to areas of town where parents are begin ning to depart for private or suburban schools. Thus in most districts, such prog rams and districts are disproportionately available to middle class, usual ly white, children. High schools have much more varied programs. Not ev ery school has excellent laboratories, an array of advanced placement course s, or enough qualified teachers of mathematics, science, or languages to a llow every student to pursue an advanced college preparatory course. Thes e opportunities are allocated in part by traditional course taking patt erns in a school, an approach that sounds reasonable but can create a self-fulfil ling prophesy: students in a school where few students formerly took advanced co urses lose any opportunity to take such courses. These opportunities are also allocated in response to family and neighborhood pressure, which further fav ors schools serving middle class students.This process is not always one way, however. Urban districts facing criticism about low-performing schools in poor neighborhoods sometimes assign reputedly “successful” schools from middle class ne ighborhoods to these schools. Families in the “nicer” schools often feel deprived in this way, and schools often face difficult adjustments when a pri ncipal is pulled out of a smoothly functioning school.The Baseline Allocation of Opportunity-Expanding Pr ograms


13 of 31 Nationally, both African American and Hispanic chil dren are much less likely to be assigned to gifted programs than students from o ther groups. According to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in 1992 African Am erican students were 57% as likely, and Hispanic students 58% as likely, as chi ldren from other groups to be considered gifted. (Note 51) Economically disadvantaged students are also signif icantly underrepresented in gifted education. Only 9 percent of students in gif ted and talented education programs were in the bottom quartile of family inco me, while 47 percent of program participants were from the top quartile in family income. (Note 52) Another measure of minority students’ separation fr om opportunity-expanding programs is their low participation in advanced pla cement (AP) courses. These are often the most advanced courses offered by high schools, and students who attain high scores on national tests can gain colle ge credit. Nationally, African American and Latino students are far less likely th an white and Asian students to take AP courses. Statewide AP data for Texas als o fit this pattern. In 1998-99, 10.9 percent of all high school students, but only 4.2% of African American and 7.1% of Hispanic students, took AP cou rses. However, African American and Hispanics are also less likely than ot hers to score 3 or above on the tests: 31% and 48% compared to 58% of all AP-ta kers. (Note 53) To some degree, however, these figures might reflec t differences among school districts – especially since minority students clus ter in districts that do not offer many or any AP courses for anyone. Within-district data are more telling about the consequences of bureaucratic processes. As Berh holc and colleagues have shown for one district (Wake County North Carolina) African American students make up 24% of the high school population but only 3.5% of students taking AP examinations. (Note 54) The corresponding percentages for Hispanic students are 2.3 and 1.8, and for whites 70 and 78. Of cours e, AP courses are meant only for well-prepared students, and enrollment dif ferences might reflect the numbers of different groups prepared for these cour ses. This might explain some of the exclusion of black students, since only 56% of those who took AP courses (compared to 78% of white students) got sco res equal to or above 3, usually considered the threshold for college credit This pattern is reversed, however, for Hispanic students: 87% of those who to ok AP courses made scores of 3 or above.Oakes and colleagues had similar findings when comp aring lowand high-income neighborhood schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Of 12 very large high schools in low-income neighbo rhoods, only 639 students took AP exams in math and science and only 18%, or 117 students, earned a score of 3 or above. Conversely, 5 high schools in the district’s high-income neighborhoods had 890 students take the math and sc ience AP exams, with 71% or 629 students receiving a pass score.Table 1 summarizes what we have learned about the b aseline against which choice programs should be compared. The next sectio n summarizes what little we know about the effects of choice programs.


14 of 31 Table 1 Best Estimates on Incidence of Segregated Placement s And Resource InequitiesCurrent System Performance Racially Isolated Schools Schools often exceed district-wide average proportion black or whiteby 20% or more Inequitable Allocation of Dollars and Teachers Most experienced andexpensive teacherscluster in “nicest”neighborhoods, per-pupilexpenditures unequal Inequitable Allocation of Opportunity-ExpandingPrograms White and middle class children 3 times more likely to enroll in giftedand AP programs Inequitable Allocation of Opportunity-LimitingPrograms Minority and lower income children 3 times more likely to be enrolledin lower tracks and out-of-class special educationWhat is Known About Choice ProgramsChoice-based programs, whether based on vouchers or school chartering, must confront the same realities that limit the current system: economics, neighborhood segregation, fertility trends, and cos ts of transportation. Critics and supporters of choice differ on whether it is li kely to increase or decrease segregation and inequities in the allocation of dol lars, quality teachers, and opportunity-limiting or opportunity-expanding progr ams. With respect to segregation, critics of choice fear that it can exacerbate the problem by allowing privileged families to take adv antage of their superior access to information to select the best schools; b y tolerating admissions processes that let privileged families monopolize a ccess to the most attractive schools; and by allowing the most sought-after scho ols to hand-pick the easiest-to-educate students.Defenders of choice programs would respond that the se abuses could be


15 of 31 eliminated by good program design. Choice programs can promote desegregation in ways conventional public school sy stems do not – by encouraging out-of-neighborhood school placement, a llowing formation of new schools accessible to students in overcrowded schoo ls, and by encouraging expansion or reproduction of oversubscribed schools With respect to dollar and human resource inequitie s, critics fear that choice will lead to heavier financing of schools preferred by p rivileged families, and concentration of the ablest teachers in schools wit h the most money and most rewarding students.Defenders of choice point out that voucher and char ter plans all start with transparent allocation of dollars to schools and eq uality of per-pupil spending. Supply-side choice also constrains schools to live within defined real-dollar budgets, so that no school can afford to hire all t he highest-paid teachers. Choice supporters admit, however, that there is not hing to prevent schools with the best reputations hiring the very best teachers or using their funds much more efficiently than other schools.With respect to opportunity-limiting programs, scho ols of choice could come under the same pressures as existing public schools to avoid slowing down faster students by creating lower-track programs fo r the disadvantaged. Organizations that ran networks of several schools (e.g. like charter school networks or Catholic archdioceses) could also creat e specialty schools specially targeted to children of different ability levels. S ome “special” schools and programs might become unchallenging and low status, and students might be assigned to them on the basis of race or social cla ss. Defenders of choice argue that competition makes th ese results unlikely: Schools that create highly differentiated programs will be inefficient and lose out to schools that offer a limited number of focused c ourses; (Note 55) and families will leave schools that put their children in dead-end courses. There is some favorable evidence about existing schools of c hoice: charter schools and parochial schools offer more restricted sets of cou rses than public schools, and parochial schools make sure that disadvantaged stud ents experience mainstream college prep courses. (Note 56) These facts, however, apply to a limited number of schools of choice, most operated by groups with strong commitments to social justice. No one can say for s ure whether some schools in a much larger school choice sector might allocat e minority-students to opportunity limiting programs.With respect to opportunity-expanding programs, und er any choice scheme, entrepreneurs (charter school operators, nonprofit organizations, for-profit contractors) could choose to locate their schools i n areas more accessible to “easy to educate” children. Competition will natura lly limit the number of schools that can succeed by this strategy, but poorer neigh borhoods could still get more “bare bones” schools. This could happen for two rea sons: school providers could decide there is insufficient demand for advan ced courses of study in poorer neighborhoods; and organizations running mor e than one school could try to run lower-cost operations in poorer neighbor hoods in order to subsidize the more excellent programs needed to compete in ri cher neighborhoods.


16 of 31 Defenders of choice argue that school providers hav e a strong incentive to demonstrate that they can serve the populations tha t public schools now serve badly. They point to evidence that organizations th at manage many schools of choice serve a lower-income and more heavily minori ty clientele than their surrounding school districts. (Note 57) Why Evidence on the Effects of Choice is LimitedEmpirical evidence is thin on all sides of these ar guments. Current voucher and charter school programs are small in scale and many are focused on serving poor and minority children. The results of those pr ograms show that some independently run schools will serve the disadvanta ged. But they do not prove that systems of universal choice would have the sam e benign results. The evidence is incomplete in another way: current voucher and charter programs do not have the kinds of supply-side effec ts that universal choice programs are likely to have. Groups that start new schools must now accept less money per pupil than public schools get, and t hey know that the charter or voucher program on which they rely could be cancele d almost at any time. Starting a new school would be a much easier propos ition if children came with the full public per-pupil expenditure and if choice programs were stable. Until such a program exists we cannot know how many new s chools will arise, or what courses of instruction they will offer, or who m they will serve. (Note 58) It is important to say why the evidence is so thin. Most choice-oriented policies, including charter school laws and voucher initiativ es, are constructed politically. Groups like teachers unions and school administrato rs associations oppose such policies, but when it is obvious that some for ms of choice will be permitted, they focus on limiting their size and scope. (Note 59) By these processes, groups opposing the original voucher program in Alu m Rock succeeded on constraining it so that few parents had choices and few new schooling options were created. (Note 60) Today, groups opposing voucher programs work to lim it the numbers of families that may choose and the num bers of schools that can be chosen. Opponents also work to limit the amount of money that follows children to schools of choice, often ensuring that charter schools and private schools accepting vouchers receive less money per p upil than is spent in local public school districts. Moreover, teachers’ unions and school boards often unite to cushion public schools from the financial impact of losing students. (Note 61) Taken together, such constraints on choice programs limit what can be learned from them. Limits on who may choose schools can bia s choice programs – in some cases toward serving disproportionate numbers of poor or minority children, and in some cases toward excluding poor f amilies that cannot pay extra tuition or provide volunteer services that un der-funded schools must require.Table 2 illustrates the kinds of constraints that h ave been imposed on choice programs, on both the supply and demand sides. No w onder the evidence about how choice would work in the real world is so limited.


17 of 31 Table 2 Constraints that Reduce the Evidence Value of Choic e ProgramsSupply Side ConstraintsDemand Side Constraints Rules limiting the numbers of schools of choice that may be created [1, 6] Limits on the numbers of students (or the percentage of students in a locality)who may choose schools [1, 2, 3, 6] Rules preventing private groups from operating publicly-funded schools [1,4] Rules eliminating former private school students from receiving vouchers [2] School board refusal to approve more than token numbers of charters [5] Rules allowing only students with certain characteristics (e.g. povertyor racial minority status ) to choose schools [2, 3] Laws allowing only existing public schools to receive charters [4] Limits on the neighborhoods from which a family may chooseschools [1, 4] Regulations controlling who may teach in schools, what methods theyemploy, and how they use time and money [1, 4] “Legacy” arrangements thatgive families who live neara school first choice ofwhether to attend it [ 1] Lower per pupil funding for vouchers or for charter schools (relative to districtrun schools [2, 3, 6] Rules limiting family choice only to schools that will accept small vouchers (lessthan public per pupil expenditure) as full tuition[2, 3] Legend:Alum Rock voucher program (Note 62) 1. State-funded voucher programs in Milwaukee and Clev eland (Note 63) 2. Private voucher programs, e.g., those sponsored by CEO America 3. Weak charter school laws, e.g., Georgia’s (Note 64) 4. Charter school laws that do not establish criteria for school board approval of 5.


18 of 31 chartersVirtually all charter school laws 6.ConclusionUntil a serious choice experiment is tried – one la rge and long-lasting enough to gauge supply-side effects as well as families’ deci sions – we cannot say for sure whether choice would provide worse outcomes th an the current system, or how tightly choice must be regulated.For the time being however, it appears that opponen ts of choice and defenders of the current public system have inappropriately a ssigned the burden of proof. Opponents condemn choice because it creates opportu nities for alert and aggressive parents to gain the best of everything f or their children. They argue that choice is risky and that the existing public e ducation system is a safer and more just alternative. However, as this paper has s hown, the existing public education system, which restricts choice by assigni ng children to schools and limiting the supply of available publicly-funded sc hools does not accomplish desegregation or give disadvantaged children equita ble access to good schools. Public school systems are segregated, particularly in the big cities where poor and minority children are most concentrated. This i s so despite decades of serious effort and unwavering declaratory policy in favor of desegregation and equity.The existing public education system also creates i nequities that might not occur under choice: it allows the best-paid teacher s to cluster in middle class schools, causing serious within-district inequities in per-pupil spending. It allocates excellent learning opportunities, includi ng advanced placement courses and programs for the gifted, disproportiona tely to schools serving higher-income children of well-educated parents. It assigns poor and minority students disproportionately to low-track courses, a nd assigns minority children – particularly African American males – to forms of s pecial education that separate them from regular classes and virtually gu arantee that they will drop out before graduating from high school.Not all these actions on the part of the existing p ublic education system are unambiguously harmful: some children benefit from p lacements outside the college prep sequence and some children need treatm ent for emotional disturbance even if that means they miss class. Any system of publicly-funded education, whether based on universal choice or run by a public monopoly, would need some special programs for severely disru ptive children or children who need unusual forms of instruction.Choice programs must not be ruled out because they can lead to some inequities. Every system of allocating opportunitie s known to man creates some inequities. No matter how opportunities are allocat ed, parents will seek the best for their own children. Systems should be designed to minimize inequities, and programs should be compared according to the scope and seriousness of inequities they permit.Choice programs must be carefully designed to preve nt segregation, and any


19 of 31 program that produced levels of segregation as grea t as those now prevailing in the public education system should be scrapped or r edesigned. (Note 65) Designers of choice programs cannot be expected to eliminate discrimination entirely. But it is fair to demand that they preven t it more effectively than do the bureaucratic processes of conventional public schoo l systems.AcknowledgementWe are grateful to Jacob Adams for an especially de manding and constructive review of an earlier draft.NotesThroughout this article we use the term “critics of choice” to refer to scholars and analysts who fear that choice will har m the interests of the poor and disadvantaged. These critics include: Full er, B. (1996). School Choice: Who Gains, Who Loses? Issues in Science and Technology 12(3) pp. 61-67; and Fuller, B. (1996). Is School C hoice Working? Educational Leadership 54(2) pp.37-40. Concludes that choice may worsen racial separation in schools.Smith, K. B. & Meier, K. J. (1995). School Choice: Panacea or Pandora’s box? Phi Delta Kappan 77(4) pp. 312. Conclude that families choose schools in order to associate with others of the sa me religion and to avoid racial minorities.Elmore, R. F. & Fuller, B. (1996). Empirical Resear ch on Education Choice: What are the Implication for Policy-Makers? In Fuller, B., Elmore, R. F., & Orfield, G. (Eds.) Who Chooses Who Loses? New York: Teachers College Press. “Increasing educational choice is li kely to increase separation of students by race, social class, and c ultural background” (p.189). Elmore et. al. argue that regardless of the choice program design the differences in choosers and non-choosers are su ch that choice programs will contribute to social stratification, not greater equality. Wells, A. S. (1998). Charter School Reform in Calif ornia: Does it meet expectations? Phi Delta Kappan 80(4) pp. 305-312. Argues that charter schools will worsen inequality.Schneider, M., Marschall, M., Teske, P., & Roch, C. (1998). School Choice and Culture Wars in the Classroom: What Diff erent Parents Seek form Education. Social Science Quarterly 79(3) pp. 489-501.Argue that school choice will increase segregation because par ents of different ethnicities and SES status have fundamental differe nces in their expectations of education for their children. 1. See Fred M. Newmann, Bets Ann Smith, Elaine Allensw orth, and Anthony S. Bryk, (2000) School Instructional Program Coherence: Benefits an d Challenges (Chicago: Consortium on Chicago School Research). 2. Haycock, Kati et. al., (2000) Achievement in America 2000 Washington 3.


20 of 31 D.C, The Education Trust/See for example, Rose, Heather and Julian R. Betts, (2001) Math Matters: The Links Between High School Curriculum, College G raduation and Earnings San Francisco, The Public Policy Institute of Cal ifornia/ 4. Abby Goodnough, (2001) How to Get Your Child the Ri ght Teacher Next FallNew York Times Magazine Sunday May 13. 5. Abby Goodnough, (2001), op cit. 6. See Kohn, Alfie,(1998) “Only for My Kid: How Privil eged Parents Undermine School Reform”, Phi Delta Kappan April 1998, pp. 569-577. 7. Gorard, S., J. Fitz, and C. Taylor, (2001) School C hoice Impacts: What Do we Know? Educational Researcher 30, no. 7, October 2001, p. 22. 8. Gary Orfield, (2001) Schools More Separate: Consequences of a Decade of Resegregation, Cambridge MA, The Civil Rights project, Harvard University, p.10 9. Throughout this article we will focus on difference s in opportunity within school districts. 10. See Gary Orfield and John T. Yun, (1999) Resegregation in American schools Cambridge MA, The Civil Rights project, Harvard U niversity. 11. See, for example, Gary Orfield, (2001) Schools More Separate: Consequences of a Decade of Resegregation, Cambridge MA, The Civil Rights project, Harvard University, p. 28. Orfield does not try to estimate the growth in segregation due to differential ferti lity. 12. Orfield and Yun, p. 17. 13. Orfleid 2001, p. 33 14. Orfield 2001, p. 20 15. Orfield 2001, p. 29 16. Orfield 2001 p. 47 17. Orfield 2001, p. 41 18. Michal Kurlaender and John T. Yun, (2000) Is Diversity a Compelling Educational Interest? Evidence from Metropolitan Lo uisville Cambridge MA, The Civil Rights Project, Harvard University, p .8. 19. Data re-analyzed by the present authors from Stephe n Samuel Smith and Roslyn Arlyn Mickelson, (2000) All that Glitters is not Gold: School Reform in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis vol. 20.


21 of 31 22, no 3, summer, p.101-128Orfield 2001 p. P. 27 21. Parrish, T. (DRAFT 2002). Disparities in the Identification, Funding, and Provision of Special Education Submitted to The Civil Rights Project for The Conference on Minority Issues in Special Educat ion in Public Schools. SpecEd/parrishpa per2.html 22. Since the early 1970s there has been a research and litigation industry focused on differences in per pupil expenditure amo ng the school districts in a state. Courts have repeatedly found that state policies leading to unequal per-pupil funding violate the equal protect ion clause of the 14thAmendment to the U.S. Constitution, This industry h as largely ignored the dramatic differences in spending and resource alloc ation within school districts. Presumably, the same Constitutional prin ciples could be applied to the inequities identified in this section. 23. Roza, Marguerite and Paul T. Hill, (forthcoming 200 4) How Within-District Spending Inequalities Help Some Schools to Fail, in Ravitch, Diane (ed.) Brookings Papers on Education Policy 2004, Washington, Brookings Institution Press. 24. Source: Personal communication with Dr. Susan Sclaf ani, former Houston Deputy Superintendent 25. Education Watch Online: New State and National Achi evement Gap Report. The Education Trust. 26. See the Education Watch Online website for individu al state information. 27. Betts, J. R., Rueben, K. S., & Danenberg, A. (2000) Equal Resources, Equal Outcomes? The Distribution of School Resource s and Student Achievement in California Public Policy Institute of California 28. Education Watch Online website 29. Haycock, Kati et. al., (2000) Achievement in America 2000 Washington D.C, The Education Trust. 30. Oakes, J. (1990). Multiplying Inequalities: The Effects of Race, Soci al Class, and Tracking on Opportunities to Learn Mathe matics and Science Santa Monica, CA: Rand. 31. Educational Watch Online 32. In the preceding section on segregation we focused on how students are allocated among schools. This section focuses on ho w students are allocated to classes and programs within schools. 33.


22 of 31 J, Kimbrough and P. T. Hill (1981) The Aggregate Effects of Federal Education Programs Santa Monica CA, RAND. 34. See Bryk, Anthony S., Valerie Lee, and Patrick Holl and (1993) Catholic Schools and the Common Good Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press; See also Hill, P.T, G. Foster, and T. Gendle r, (1990) High Schools with Character Santa Monica CA, RAND. 35. See Loveless, T., (1999) The Tracking Wars: State Reform Meets School Policy Washington D.C., Brookings. 36. Oakes, J. (1985). Keeping Track: How Schools Structure Inequality New Haven: Yale University Press. 37. Oakes, J. (1995). Two Cities’ Tracking and Within-s chool Segregation. Teachers College Record 96(4) pp. 681-690. 38. The Achievement Council, Inc. Los Angeles, CA. Unpu blished. 1991. As cited in Achievement in America 2000, The Education Trust, Inc. 6/dc/edtrust/edstart.cfm 39. Mickelson, R. A. (2001). Subverting Swann: Firsta nd Second-Generation Segregation in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. American Education Research Journal 38(2) pp.215-252. 40. Oakes, J. & Guiton, G. (1995). Matchmaking: The Dyn amics of High School Tracking Decision. American Educational Research Journal 32(1) pp. 3-33. 41. Oakes, J. (1990). Multiplying Inequalities: The Effects of Race, Soci al Class, and Tracking on Opportunities to Learn Mathe matics and Science Santa Monica, CA: Rand. 42. Mickelson (2001) p. 238 43. Rose, Heather, and Julian Betts (2001) Math Matters: The Links Between High School Curriculum, College Graduation, and Ear nings, San Francisco,Public Policy Institute of California, 20 01 44. Parrish, T. (DRAFT). Disparities in the Identificat ion, Funding, and Provision of Special Education. Submitted to The Ci vil Rights Project for The Conference on Minority Issues in Special Educat ion in Public Schools. SpecEd/parrishpa per2.html 45. U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Ed ucation Programs. (2000). Twenty-second Annual Report to Congress on the Indi viduals with Disabilities Education Act / 46. Oswald, D. P., Coutinho, M. J., Best, A. M., & Sing h, N. N. (1999). Ethnic 47.


23 of 31 Representation in Special Education: The Influence of School-Related Economic and Demographic Variables. The Journal of Special Education 32(4) pp. 194-206.In studies of district data from Texas and Florida, Lander and Hammons also found that race influences special education r ates more than other predictor variable such as poverty, student-teacher ratio, spending per pupil, and teacher salaries. The effect of race is almost double the next highest variable (poverty) and is stronger than the combination of the other three variables in this study. They also pres ent data suggesting that African American and Hispanic students’ placement r ate in special education is nearly 10% higher in predominately whi te districts than in predominately minority districts. 48. Ladner, M. & Hammons, C. (2001). Special but Unequa l: Race and Special Education. In Finn, Rotherham, & Hokanson ( Eds.) Rethinking Special Education for a New Century Fordham Foundation and the Progressive Policy Institute. 49. Valdes, L.A., Williamson, C.L., & Wagner, M.M. (199 0). The National Longitudinal Study of Special Education Students, S tatistical Almanac Vol. 3: Youth Categorized as Emotionally Disturbed. Menlo park, CA: SRI International. As cited in Osher, D., Woodruff, D., & Sims, A. (DRAFT). Exploring Relationships between Inappropriate and i neffective Special Education Services for African American Children an d Youth and the Overrerpresentation in the Juvenile Justice System. osherpaper2.html 50. Ford, D. Y. (1998). The Underrepresentation of Mino rity Students in Gifted Education: Problems and Promises in Recruitment and Retention. The Journal of Special Education 32(1) pp. 4-14. 51. National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS) of 198 8 in National Center for Education Statistics, Urban Schools: The Challenge of Locational Poverty (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, 1 996). 52. Texas Education Agency, Office of Policy Planning a nd Research (2000). Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Examination Results in Texas 1998-99. 53. Bernholc, A., Baenen, N., & Howell, R. (2000). Measuring Up: 1998-99 Advanced Placement Exam Results. Wake County Public Schools. Evaluation and Research Department. 54. See Hill, P.T. (1999). The supply side of choice. I n F. Kemmerer & S. Sugarman (Eds.), School choice and social controversy Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. 55. See Coleman, James S., and Thomas Hoffer, (1987) Public and Private High Schools New York, Basic Books; See also Coleman, James, Thomas Hoffer, and Sally Kilgore, (1982) High School Achievement: Public, Catholic, and Private Schools Compared, New York, Basic Books. 56.


24 of 31 With respect to charter schools see U.S. Department of Education, The State of Charter Schools 2000 Washington, January 2000, Sec. C p. 2. Nationally, white students make up 48% of the chart er school population compared to 58% of the population served by convent ional public schools. Charter school student populations are disproportio nately white in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Georgia, and disproportio nately minority in Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Je rsey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. 57. The British experience with choice shows that large -scale choice programs have much more equitable effects than do s mall-scale programs, and that results become more equitable th e longer a choice program is in place. See Gorard, S., J. Fitz, and C Taylor, School Choice Impacts: What Do We Know? 58. See Bulman, R.C. & Kirp, D.L. (1999). The Shifting Politics of School Choice. pp.36-67. In School Choice and Social Controversy: Politics, Policy, and Law Eds. Sugarman & Kremerer. Washington, D.C. 59. See Weiner, S.S. & Kellan, K. (1974). The Politics and Administration of the Voucher Demonstration in Alum Rock, The First Y ears, 1972-1973 Santa Monica, CA: RAND. 60. See National Governors’ Association (1993). Strategic Investment: Tough Choices for America’s Future. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. 61. See, for example, Henig, J.R. (1994). Rethinking School Choice: Limits of the Market Metaphor Princeton University Press: Princeton, N.J. 62. See Peterson, P.E., Greene, J., & Noyes, C. (1996). School Choice in Milwaukee. Public Interest 125. pp.38-56. 63. Re. charter school laws, see Hill, P.T. and Lake, R .J., (2002) Charter Schools and Accountability in Public Education Washington D.C., Brookings, ch. 4. See also Hassel, B. (1999). The Charter School Challenge: Avoiding the Pitfalls, Fulfilling the Pr omise Brooking Institution Press: Washington, D.C. See also Center for Educati on Reform (2001). Charter School Laws Across the States. 64. Among serious analysts even those most worried abou t choice admit that ensuring equity is a matter of thoughtful program d esign. From Cobb and Glass 2000: “The social consequences of choice in e ducation are mediated by the policies under which choice operate s. Depending on the degree of public oversight, choice can serve contra dictory purposes. Consider two extreme scenarios. Under regulated con ditions, choice can correct for severe levels of segregation and ensure the stable integration of schools (e.g., controlled open enrollment plans, magnet programs). Minneapolis, Minnesota and Cambridge, Massachusetts endorse such policies. Conversely, unregulated choice can intens ify ethnic stratification by allowing parents to remove their children from i ntegrated schools (e.g., 65.


25 of 31 White flight). Arizona's laissez-faire charter legi slation appears to fall in this latter group.”ReferencesBernholc, A., Baenen, N., & Howell, R. (2000). Measuring up: 1998-99 Advanced Placement Exam results. Wake County Public Schools. Evaluation and Research Department.Betts, J. R., Rueben, K. S., & Danenberg, A. (2000) Equal resources, equal outcomes? The distribution of school resources and student achievement in California. Public Policy Institute of California.Bryk, A. S., Lee, V. & Holland, P. (1993). Catholic schools and the common good Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Bulman, R.C. & Kirp, D.L. (1999). The shifting poli tics of school choice. In F. Kemmerer & S. Sugarman (Eds.), School choice and social controversy Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.Center for Education Reform (2001). Charter School Laws Across the States., C.D. & Glass, G.V. (1999). Ethnic segregation in Arizona charter schools. Education Policy Analysis Archives 7(1). Retrieved October 1, 2003 from, J.S. & Hoffer, T. (1987). Public and private high schools New York, NY: Basic Books.Coleman, J., Hoffer, T. & Kilgore, S. (1982). High school achievement: Public, Catholic, and private schools compared. New York, NY: Basic Books. Education Watch Online. New State and National Achievement Gap Report The Education Trust. www.edtrust.orgElmore, R. F. & Fuller, B. (1996). Empirical Resear ch on Education Choice: What are the Implication fro Policy-Makers? In B. F uller, R.F. Elmore, & G. Orfield, (Eds.) Who chooses who loses?: Culture, institutions and t he unequal effects of school choice. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Ford, D. Y. (1998). The underrepresentation of mino rity students in gifted education: Problems and promises in recruitment and retention. The Journal of Special Education 32 (1), 4-14. Fuller, B. (1996). School Choice: Who Gains, Who Lo ses? Issues in Science and Technology 12(3), 61-67 Fuller, B. (1996). Is School Choice Working? Educational Leadership 54 (2), 37-40.Goodnough, A. (2001, May 13). How to get your child the right teacher next fall,


26 of 31 New York Times Magazine Gorard, S., Fitz, J. & Taylor, C. (2001). School ch oice impacts: What do we know? Educational Researcher 30 (7), 22. Hassel, B. (1999). The charter school challenge: Avoiding the pitfalls fulfilling the promise Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. Haycock, K. (2000). Achievement in America 2000 Washington, D.C.: The Education Trust.Henig, J.R. (1994). Rethinking school choice: Limits of the market meta phor Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press.Hill, P.T. (1999). The supply side of choice. In F. Kemmerer & S. Sugarman (Eds.), School choice and social controversy Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.Hill, P.T, Foster, G, and Gendler, T. (1990) High schools with character Santa Monica, CA: RAND.Hill, P.T. & Lake, R.J., (2002) Charter schools and accountability in public education, Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. Hoxby, C. ( 2000 ) Does competition among public sc hools benefit students and taxpayers? American Economic Review 90 (5), 1209-1238. Kimbrough, J. & Hill, P.T. (1981). The aggregate effects of federal education programs Santa Monica, CA: RAND. Kohn, A. (1998) Only for my kid: How privileged par ents undermine school reform. Phi Delta Kappan 79 (8), 569-577. Kurlaender, M. & Yun, J.T. (2000). Is diversity a compelling educational interest? Evidence from metropolitan Louisville Cambridge MA, The Civil Rights Project, Harvard University.Ladner, M. & Hammons, C. (2001). Special but unequa l: Race and special education. In C.E. Finn, A.J. Rotherham, & C.R. Hok anson (Eds.) Rethinking Special Education for a New Century. Fordham Foundation. Loveless, T., (1999) The tracking wars: State reform meets school policy Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.Mickelson, R. A. (2001). Subverting Swann: Firsta nd second-generation segregation in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. American Education Research Journal 38 (2), 215-252. National Governors’ Association (1993). Strategic investment: Tough choices for America’s future. Washington, D.C. Newmann, F.M., Smith, B.A., Allensworth, E. & Bryk, A.S. (2000). School instructional program coherenc: Benefits and challe nges Chicago, IL:


27 of 31 Consortium on Chicago School Research.Oakes, J. (1985). Keeping track: How schools structure inequality New Haven: Yale University Press.Oakes, J. (1990). Multiplying inequalities: The effects of race, soci al class, and tracking on opportunities to learn mathematics and science. Santa Monica, CA: Rand.Oakes, J. (1995). Two cities’ tracking and within-s chool segregation. Teachers College Record 96 (4), 681-690. Oakes, J. & Guiton, G. (1995). Matchmaking: The dyn amics of high school tracking decisions. American Educational Research Journal 32 (1), 3-33. Orfield, G. (2001). Schools more separate: Consequences of a decade of resegregation, Cambridge, MA, The Civil Rights project, Harvard U niversity. Orfield, G. & Yun, J.T. (1999). Resegregation in American schools Cambridge, MA, The Civil Rights project, Harvard University.Oswald, D. P., Coutinho, M. J., Best, A. M., & Sing h, N. N. (1999). Ethnic representation in special education: The influence of school-related economic and demographic variables. The Journal of Special Education 32 (4), 194-206. Parrish, T. (DRAFT). Disparities in the identification, funding, and pro vision of special education Submitted to The Civil Rights Project for The Con ference on Minority Issues in Special Education in Public Scho ols. SpecEd/parrishpa per2.html Peterson, P.E., Greene, J., & Noyes, C. (1996). Sch ool choice in Milwaukee. Public Interest 125 38-56. Rose, H. & Betts, J. (2001). San Francisco, Math matters: The links between high school curriculum, college graduation, and ear nings San Francisco, CA: Public Policy Institute of CaliforniaRoza, Marguerite and Paul T. Hill (forthcoming 2004 ) How Within-District Spending Inequalities Help Some Schools to Fail, in Ravitch, Diane (ed.) Brookings Papers on Education Policy 2004, Washington, Brookings Press Schneider, M., Marschall, M., Teske, P., & Roch, C. (1998). School Choice and Culture Wars in the Classroom: What Different Paren ts Seek form Education. Social Science Quarterly 79 (3), 489-501. Smith, K. B. & Meier, K. J. (1995). School choice: Panacea or Pandora’s box? Phi Delta Kappan 77 (4), 312-316. Smith, S.S. & Mickelson, R.A. (2000). All that glit ters is not gold: School reform in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 22 (3).101-128. Texas Education Agency, Office of Policy Planning a nd Research (2000).


28 of 31 Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate examination results in Texas 1998-99. The Achievement Council, Inc. Los Angeles, CA. Unpu blished. 1991. As cited in Achievement in America 2000, The Education Trust,Inc. Department of Education (1996). Urban Schools: The Challenge of Locational Poverty National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS) of 1 988. National Center for Education Statistics.U.S. Department of Education (2000). The State of Charter Schools 2000 Washington, D.C.U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Ed ucation Programs. (2000). Twenty-second annual report to congress on the Indi viduals with Disabilities Education Act. /OSEP2000AnlRpt/ Valdes, L.A., Williamson, C.L., & Wagner, M.M. (199 0). The national longitudinal study of special education students. Statistical Almanac, Vol. 3: Youth categorized as emotionally disturbed. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. As cited in Osher, D., Woodruff, D., & Sims, A. (DR AFT). Exploring relationships between inappropriate and ineffective special education services for African American children and youth and the ove rrerpresentation in the juvenile justice osherpaper2.html Weiner, S.S. & Kellan, K. (1974). The politics and administration of the voucher demonstration in Alum Rock: The first years, 1972-1 973 Santa Monica, CA: RAND.Wells, A. S. (1998). Charter school reform in Calif ornia: Does it meet expectations? Phi Delta Kappan 80 (4), 305-312.About the AuthorsPaul T. HillResearch ProfessorDaniel J. Evans School of Public AffairsDirector, Center on Reinventing Public EducationUniversity of Washington, Box 353055Seattle, Washington 98195-3055Tel.: 206-685-2214 Homepage: http://www.crpe.orgPaul Hill is director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education, which studies alternative governance systems for public e lementary and secondary education. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution. For Brookings he is now leading a national working commission on choice in K-12 education, which will issue its report in late 2003. Before joining the University of Washington faculty, Paul Hill worked for 17 years as a Senior


29 of 31 Social Scientist in RAND's Washington Office where his research focused on the reform of elementary and secondary education. H e contributed to studies of defense research, development and acquisition polic y. While at RAND he served as Director of Washington Operations (1981-8 7) and Director of the Education and Human Resources program (1979-80). Wh ile a government employee he directed the National Institute of Educ ation’s Compensatory Education Study (a congressionally-mandated assessm ent of federal aid to elementary and secondary education) and conducted r esearch on housing and education for O.E.O.Kacey Guin Research Assistant Center on Reinventing Public Education University of Washington, Box 353055 Seattle, Washington 98195-3055Kacey Guin is a research coordinator for the Center on Reinventing Public Education, in the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. She has co-authored book chapters on th e achievement gap and the assessment of school choice programs. Most rece ntly, she completed a study on the impact of high teacher turnover rates on the organizational functioning of schools. The World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is Editor: Gene V Glass, Arizona State UniversityProduction Assistant: Chris Murrell, Arizona State University General questions about appropriateness of topics o r particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, or reach him at College of Education, Arizona State Un iversity, Tempe, AZ 85287-2411. The Commentary Editor is Casey D. Cobb: .EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin David C. Berliner Arizona State University Greg Camilli Rutgers University Linda Darling-Hammond Stanford University Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Mark E. Fetler California Commission on TeacherCredentialing Gustavo E. Fischman Arizona State Univeristy Richard Garlikov Birmingham, Alabama


30 of 31 Thomas F. Green Syracuse University Aimee Howley Ohio University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Ontario Institute ofTechnology Patricia Fey Jarvis Seattle, Washington Daniel Kalls Ume University Benjamin Levin University of Manitoba Thomas Mauhs-Pugh Green Mountain College Les McLean University of Toronto Heinrich Mintrop University of California, Los Angeles Michele Moses Arizona State University Gary Orfield Harvard University Anthony G. Rud Jr. Purdue University Jay Paredes Scribner University of Missouri Michael Scriven University of Auckland Lorrie A. Shepard University of Colorado, Boulder Robert E. Stake University of Illinois—UC Kevin Welner University of Colorado, Boulder Terrence G. Wiley Arizona State University John Willinsky University of British ColumbiaEPAA Spanish and Portuguese Language Editorial BoardAssociate Editors for Spanish & Portuguese Gustavo E. Fischman Arizona State Universityfischman@asu.eduPablo Gentili Laboratrio de Polticas Pblicas Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro pablo@lpp-uerj.netFounding Associate Editor for Spanish Language (199 8-2003) Roberto Rodrguez Gmez Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico Adrin Acosta (Mxico) Universidad de J. Flix Angulo Rasco (Spain) Universidad de


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