School choice may increase student engagement by enabling students to attend schools that more closely match their needs and preferences. But this effect on engagement may depend on the characteristics of the choices available. Therefore, we consider how the amount of educational choice of different types in a local educational marketplace affects student engagement using a large, national population of 8th grade students. We find that more choice of regular public schools in the elementary and middle school years is associated with a lower likelihood that students will be severely disengaged in eighth grade, and more choices of public schools of choice has a similar effect but only in urban areas. In contrast, more private sector choice does not have such a general beneficial effect.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors are grateful for support from the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk , the Greater Texas Foundation , the Institute of Educational Sciences grants ( R324A100022 and R324B080008 ) and from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development ( P50 HD052117 ). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development or the National Institutes of Health.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science