Saturday, January 25, 2014

Brookings Education Choice and Competition Index 2013

The Education Choice and Competition Index Background and Results 2013

RankSchool DistrictGradeCountyStudent Population No. of Schools
1Recovery DistrictAOrleans Parish, LA47,493126
2New York CityA-New York County, NY1,150,7952,431
3Orleans ParishA-Orleans Parish, LA51,042119
4HoustonBHarris County, TX220,754471
5DenverBDenver County, CO87,147229
6MinneapolisBHennepin County, MN46,165122
7Washington DCB-District Of Columbia, DC72,875295
8San DiegoB-San Diego County, CA146,207309
9TucsonB-Pima County, AZ66,505215
9ChicagoB-Cook County, IL427,945961

Executive summary:

"The United States is in the middle of a K-12 education revolution that is characterized by many dramatic transformations — among them, a shift toward more choice by parents in where their children are educated with public funds. This shift is signified by, among other things, the growth of public charter schools, the adoption of open enrollment systems for public schools, the expansion of statewide voucher programs, and continued increases in the availability of technology-based distance/virtual education.

"Although the expansion of choice in education is driven by a widely-recognized market model, which posits that allowing students and their families to choose schools and backpack their public funds will force education service providers to innovate and compete on the quality of their product, there is little available information about the current state of school choice in American education. For that reason, the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings compiles an annual Education Choice and Competition Index (ECCI) of 100+ U.S. school districts. The ECCI is based on scoring rubrics within thirteen categories of policy and practice that are important to the availability and quality of choice and to the competition created by choice among providers of education services.

"Based on these scoring principles, the Recovery School District in New Orleans and New York City Public Schools occupy the highest rankings on the 2013 ECCI, with scores of 83 and 73 points out of 100, respectively. Both districts occupied those same rankings in 2012, illustrating a larger trend uncovered by the ECCI: districts demonstrate little year-to-year change in their commitment to or design of school choice. The correlation between this year’s and last year’s aggregate district scores is 0.95. There are, however, exceptions. Denver dramatically improved its ranking, moving from 24th to fifth place, based on its implementation of a unified application process for all its public schools, including charters.

"Despite their high rankings, the Recovery School District and New York City, along with all other top-scoring districts, need improvements. And, as demonstrated by the 34 districts that received an “F” grade, zip code assignment and other policies antithetical to choice still represent standard operating procedure for many school districts across the country."

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