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Washington, D.C.—In April 2004, 175,000 Chicago public school students were eligible to transfer to a higher-performing school within the district as part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act's "public school choice" provision. The provision is designed to provide an escape valve for students in chronically under-performing schools, but less than 1 percent of these students were able to take advantage of the transfer option, partly because they couldn't find a seat in a better quality school in their district. Nationwide, only a tiny fraction of eligible students have utilized NCLB's choice provision.
In a new Education Sector Idea at Work, In Need of Improvement: Revising NCLB’s School Choice Provision, Policy Analyst Erin Dillon offers Congress and the Obama administration a number of steps they can take to improve the effectiveness of NCLB's choice provision. Using NCLB school performance information from
This publication was made possible by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of
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