Journal Article

The Expansion of High School Choice in Chicago Public Schools

Abstract: Public school choice in Chicago has been in existence for more than 30 years and has noticeably expanded over the past 15 years. In 1987, United States Secretary of Education William Bennett labeled Chicago?s public schools the ?worst in the nation.? At that time, reportedly one-half of Chicago?s 64 high schools ranked in the bottom 1 percent on the ACT among schools that administered the test.1 Bennett further said Chicago parents should consider private school options, arguing that increased competition from private schools would improve the performance of Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Since then, private school enrollment in Chicago among 15 year olds has actually fallen?from 22.3 percent in 1990 to 11.9 percent in 2015.2 At the same time, the quality of CPS schools has generally improved. Average ACT scores have risen, while dropout rates have declined (Allensworth et al., 2016).

Keywords: Chicago Public School; demographics; education;

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    Barrow, Lisa

    Sartain, Lauren

Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Part of Series: Economic Perspectives

Publication Date: 2017

Issue: 5

Pages: 2-29