Wednesday, August 20, 2014

One in four families has utilized school choice

"The practice of school choice has now spread to such an extent that more than one-fourth of all American families have a school-age child who has been educated elsewhere than in a traditional public school," write Michael B. Henderson, Paul E. Peterson, and Martin R. West, reporting on the results of the 2014 Education Next/Harvard PEPG poll.
Many American families are ignoring the bright lines routinely drawn between traditional public schools on the one hand and charter schools, private schools, and home schooling on the other. We asked respondents who live with children aged 6 to 17 to report whether those children have ever attended a traditional public school, a charter school, or a private school, as well as whether they have been home schooled. No fewer than 26% percent of respondents living with school-age children have used an alternative to traditional public schools at some point in those children’s education. ...

Teachers make just as much use of these alternatives as the public at large. About 28% of teachers living with school-age children have used or currently use private schools, charter schools, or home schooling alongside or in lieu of traditional public schools. The most heavily used alternative for teachers is private school (19%), but 8% and 7% use charter schools and home schooling, respectively. School choice is no longer an abstract concept. It is part and parcel of the American educational fabric, directly affecting 26% of all Americans living with school-age children.

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