Equal Opportunity

Wha⁠t⁠ ⁠i⁠s School Cho⁠i⁠ce Week?

January 22, 2023

Equal Opportunity

January 22, 2023

This week, the spotlight is on giving every kid an equal opportunity.

Today is the first day of National School Choice Week! 

No child should have their future dictated by the zip code in which they live, yet that is the case for many American children. They are zoned for a school which is failing or does not meet their needs. Meanwhile, families in other zip codes – or those with the financial means to pay for private schools – are able to access an excellent education. 

National School Choice Week “informs, inspires, and empowers parents to discover the K-12 education options available for their children, while generating widespread public awareness of the importance of school choice.” This week is about shining a light on this issue, encouraging states to empower parents to make the best decisions for their children. It is all about giving children the opportunity to attend the school that will serve them best. 

This is an issue that Americans can agree on. 93% of parents agree that one size does not fit all when it comes to education. School choice works – the data proves it:

  • While charter schools make up 12% of public high schools in the country, they represent 22% of the top 100 public high schools in the country.
  • On average, an increase in total charter school enrollment share is associated with a significant increase in the average math achievement of poor, Black and Hispanic students.
  • Seventeen empirical studies examined academic outcomes for students participating in private school choice using random assignment, the gold standard of defensible social science:
    • Eleven studies found improved test scores for school choice participants.
    • Four studies found no significant effect for school choice participants.
  • A total of 21 empirical studies examined school choice and how it impacts academic outcomes in public schools:
    • Twenty studies found school choice improved public school academic outcomes.
    • Only one of the 21 studies found no significant effect on academic outcomes from school choice.
  • A total of 10 studies examined the impact of school choice on racial segregation:
    • Nine studies found school choice programs move students into less segregated schools.
    • One study found school choice programs have no net effect on racial segregation.
    • None of the studies found school choice programs increase racial segregation.

School choice is good for individual children, their communities and American society as a whole. Keep an eye on our blog this week, where we will be sharing stories about schools, families and others in the school choice movement who are working to provide better options for children around the country.