Panel: Using Revealed School Choice Preferences for Policy Insights

Friday, November 9, 2018: 3:15 PM-4:45 PM
Tyler - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Chairs:  Steven Glazerman, Mathematica Policy Research
Discussants:  Matthew Chingos, Urban Institute and Sujata Bhat, Education Forward DC

Predicting Demand for Schools: Using Data to Inform School Planning Decisions
Dallas Dotter, Steven Glazerman and Ignacio Martinez, Mathematica Policy Research

Parental Response to School Choice Nudges: How the Design of a School Shopping Site Can Influence School Selections
Jon Valant1, Steven Glazerman2, Ira Nichols-Barrer2 and Alyson Burnett2, (1)Brookings Institution, (2)Mathematica Policy Research

Since 2014, Washington, DC has offered a unified application and enrollment system so families have one-stop access to traditional and public charter schools across the District. The rich application and enrollment data generated by this system provide inroads to understanding the basis upon which parents choose a school, and how student enrollments within and across schools might change in response to various policy decisions made in DC. This information is critical to forming policies intended to increase access to quality schools and decrease social stratification of schools, as well as assessing the effectiveness of policies targeting the applicant’s decision process, the school-planning process, or the process of matching applicants to schools.

This panel presents the results of four studies examining complimentary aspects of how families interact with the school choice process and innovative ways in which the quality of matches between students and schools might be improved. In the context of Washington, D.C., the first three studies explore (1) how enrollments in schools of choice or default neighborhood schools depend on characteristics of students’ neighborhood and proximity to specific schools; (2) the potential for central assignment mechanisms to expand access to choice schools among disadvantaged students; and (3) the feasibility of using data generated by unified enrollment systems to inform school-planning decisions that better meet the needs of families. Finally, findings from an experimental study provide insights on how the presentation of information about schools can affect how parents use that information and the value they place on academic quality when selecting a school.

See more of: Education
See more of: Panel