ETS Policy Notes — Public School Choice

ETS Policy Information Center
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Educational vouchers elementary secondary education magnet schools nontraditional education parent attitudes public schools school attitudes school choice school desegregation voluntary desegregation


This issue of ETS Policy Notes (Volume 2, No. 2) provides two articles by B. C. Clewell and M. F. Joy and one by the Educational Commission of the States. The articles discuss the frequently debated questions of parental choice of the public schools their children attend. The first paper, "Montclair--A Model Magnet," describes the experience of the Montclair (New Jersey) school system in using a voluntary magnet school program to desegregate its schools, and it is based on information from an evaluation of the Montclair plan conducted by B. C. Clewell and M. F. Joy. The Montclair experience provides a concrete example of an effective magnet plan. The second paper, "What the Research Says," is drawn from the same evaluation of the Montclair schools. Three types of public school choice programs have generally been studied: (1) regulated voucher systems; (2) alternative schools; and (3) magnet plans. The third article, "An Overview of Choice Programs across the U.S.," is drawn from "Survey of State Initiatives: Public School Choice," published by the Education Commission of the States. Five types of choice plans have been identified: (1) interdistrict choice plans; (2) intradistrict plans; (3) second-chance plans of alternatives for students who have been unsuccessful; (4) postsecondary enrollment options for secondary students; and (5) magnet and state-supported programs for special approaches. The data in these three articles are designed to inform the debate about public choice of schools. ED 338 636


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