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Making School Choice Work Series: How Parents Experience Public School Choice

December 15, 2014

A growing number of cities now provide a range of public school options for families to choose from. Choosing a school can be one of the most stressful decisions parents make on behalf of their child. Getting access to the right public school will determine their child's future success. How are parents faring in cities where choice is widely available? This report answers this question by examining how parents' experiences with school choice vary across eight "high-choice" cities: Baltimore, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Our findings suggest parents are taking advantage of the chance to choose a non-neighborhood-based public school option for their child, but there's more work to be done to ensure choice works for all families.

Making School Choice Work

July 7, 2014

School choice is increasingly the new normal in urban education. But in cities with multiple public school options, how can civic leaders create a choice system that works for all families, whether they choose a charter or district public school?To answer this question, CRPE researchers surveyed 4,000 parents in eight cities (Baltimore, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.) with high degrees of school choice. The researchers also conducted interviews with government officials, choice advocates, and community leaders in four cities, and looked at how many different agencies oversee schools in 35 cities.The study found that:In the eight cities surveyed, the majority of parents are actively choosing a school for their children.Parents face significant barriers to choosing schools, including inadequate information, transportation, and lack of quality options.Challenges facing families are not confined to the charter or district sector.Responsibility for schools often falls to multiple parties, including school districts, charter school authorizers, and state agencies, weakening accountability and making it difficult for leaders to address the challenges facing parents.The report finds that a more transparent, accountable, and fair system will require action from all parties, including school districts, charter authorizers, charter operators, and states. State and city leaders may need to change laws to ensure that districts and charter authorizers oversee schools responsibly and that families do not face large barriers to choice. In some cases, formal governance changes may be necessary to address the challenges to making school choice work for all families.

Teacher Attitudes About Compensation Reform: Implications for Reform Implementation 2010

June 1, 2010

Examines teachers' views of merit pay and alternative compensation for those in hard-to-staff subject areas and schools and those with special knowledge and skills. Analyzes determining factors for varying levels of support. Outlines policy implications.

Returns to Skill and Teacher Wage Premiums: What Can We Learn By Comparing the Teacher and Private Sector Labor Markets?

August 18, 2008

Estimates the wage differences between public school teachers and other professions over time by gender, advanced degree, major, college quality, and technical and academic skills. Explores the incentives needed to attract and retain effective teachers.

A Leap of Faith: Redesigning Teacher Compensation

June 30, 2008

Summarizes three reports: Teacher Attitudes About Compensation Reform, Returns to Skill and Teacher Wage Premiums, and Teacher Labor Markets and the Perils of Using Hedonics to Estimate Compensating Differentials in the Public Sector.

Teacher Attitudes About Compensation Reform: Implications for Reform Implementation 2007

August 22, 2007

Examines how teachers' views of merit pay and additional pay for hard-to-staff schools, subjects, and additional certification differ by individual characteristics, including subject area, experience, and school performance. Considers policy implications.

From Bystander to Ally: Transforming the District Human Resources Department

April 1, 2004

Looks at how school districts in Houston, Milwaukee, and San Diego are transforming their human resources departments. Identifies key reform issues that are essential in making HR offices more effective and able to provide better support to their schools.

Making Sense of Leading Schools: A Study of the School Principalship

September 1, 2003

Presents findings from a survey of educators in 21 schools in four small to mid-size cities in four different states. Looks at core roles that all principals play and how these roles differ across traditional public, magnet, charter, and private schools.