Research & Data

The Next 200 Years: Studying the Long-Term Effects of Catholic-to-Charter “Conversion”

In 2014, Andrew Kelly and I wrote Sector Switchers: Why Catholic Schools Convert to Charters and What Happens Next, an examination of 18 formerly Catholic schools that had “converted” (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves) into charter schools. With the recent news that the much-vaunted Jubilee Catholic schools in Memphis were looking to pursue the Catholic-to-charter […]

What You Actually Need to Know About the Two New School Choice Attainment Studies

School choice research has increasingly focused on educational attainment—that is, measuring the impact on high school and college graduation, higher education enrollment, employment status and income rather than standardized test scores. Two new high-quality studies released recently continue this trend. In this post, we’ll break down those studies, highlight the results and contextualize them within […]

Mapping Indiana’s K–12 Student Transfers

Earlier this year, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) released its first ever Public Corporation Transfer Report showing how many students in each district exercised public school choice in Fall 2017. I’ve used the data in that report to create maps that show districts where students have left their schools to attend a different district […]

Mapping Indiana’s Public District School Choice Transfers

Hoosier families have many options when it comes to K–12 education. While the state’s private school choice programs have garnered plenty of local and national headlines, the majority of Indiana students move schools using a different system: open enrollment. Earlier this year, the Indiana Department of Education released its first ever Public Corporation Transfer Report […]

Struggling Schools, School Choice and the Fear of Gentrification

School choice and gentrification

Part I of this series described how giving families more school options can lead to economic growth, and in part II, I discussed how experts with the same facts can disagree about the nature of a problem based on their lens—thinking of solutions from inside vs. outside schools. In this post, I’ll examine another common […]

Could We Solve Poverty and Pollution with School Choice?

Poverty Pollution School Choice

It may seem obvious—people want to live near the best schools. But have you ever thought about the problems created when families flee weak school districts? Recently, while visiting Atlanta, I came face-to-face with a disheartening reality: the sight of neighborhoods in deep poverty sitting in the shadows of gleaming skyscrapers. These mammoth buildings contain […]

What is Empirical Evidence?

What is empirical evidence?

Empirical evidence is information that researchers generate to help uncover answers to questions that can have significant implications for our society. Take seatbelts. Prior to their invention, people were killed or maimed in what today we would think of as minor traffic accidents. So smart engineers put their heads together to try to do something […]

School Vouchers Gone Wild? The Truth About Florida’s Tax Credit Scholarships

Based on recent media coverage, you might get the impression that the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship Program operates in some kind of Mad Max free-for-all, where families are routinely exploited by ne’er-do-well school operators. An editorial in the Orlando Sentinel decried “your tax dollars” being “whisked away” to private schools and called for an […]