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Educational Delusions?Why Choice Can Deepen Inequality and How to Make Schools Fair$
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Gary Orfield and Erica Frankenberg

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520274730

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520274730.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

The Story of Meaningful School Choice

The Story of Meaningful School Choice

Lessons from Interdistrict Transfer Plans

(p.187) 9 The Story of Meaningful School Choice
Educational Delusions?

Amy Stuart Wells

Miya Warner

Courtney Grzesikowski

University of California Press

This chapter highlights the evidence to date on eight interdistrict transfer programs. These programs allow poor urban students of color to make meaningful school choices across school district boundary lines, guaranteeing them the maximum amount of choice possible and allowing them to escape poor urban schools and the high concentration of poor students within them. The second half of this chapter describes the policies behind these programs and their relationship to the opportunities provided to students. These eight programs—spread across the country from Boston to East Palo Alto—illustrate the educational and social benefits of enabling disadvantaged black and Latino students to choose to attend more affluent, predominantly white and privileged suburban public schools. Interdistrict transfer or desegregation policies offer the choice of a different school context. The public management of suburban schools generally works better than that in urban contexts, because of the affluence and political power of the suburban constituents. Given this deeper understanding of the importance of school context in the lives of students, the experiences of the thousands of children who have participated in these innovative interdistrict programs should be a part of the public debate on what types of school choice policies are most effective for low—income children.

Keywords:   interdistrict choice, interdistrict transfers, METCO, Tinsley, interdistrict desegregation, Project Choice

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