Families & the Community Report Roundup

Parent Involvement

By Sarah Tully — August 02, 2016 1 min read

Parents in the District of Columbia’s school system chose their children’s schools based in part on how closely the schools’ racial makeup matched their own children, a new study shows.

Researchers analyzed data from 22,000 applicants in the 2014 school lottery in Washington, D.C., for 200 traditional public and charter schools in the study by the Mathematica Policy Research.

The paper revealed similar findings as other studies—academic performance and distance are major factors in school decisions. But middle school parents also were willing to travel a half-mile farther to go to a school if 50 percent of students were of the same race as their children. They were willing to drive even farther to avoid having their children be in a small minority—such as a school where 10 percent versus 20 percent of the students are in the same group.

A version of this article appeared in the August 03, 2016 edition of Education Week as Parent Involvement

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