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Who Loses Students to Low-Quality Schools? Relationships Between Cyber Charters and Educational Disadvantage Over Time

Sun, April 30, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Meeting Room Level, Room 216 A

Abstract

This research examines how shifts in knowledge about the quality of a specific school type relate to changes in demographics of school districts that lose students to this school type. To do so, this study analyzes cyber charter school enrollment in Pennsylvania, showing that as the perceived quality of the cyber charter school sector turns negative, the composition of school districts losing students to this sector changes so that educationally disadvantaged districts are more likely to lose a higher proportion of students. These findings have implications for school choice theory in that certain choice decisions may not promote educational improvement if educationally disadvantaged students are offered and make choices that perpetuate their educational disadvantage.

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