Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Policy and Leadership

First Advisor

Birren, Jill

Second Advisor

Eckman, Ellen

Third Advisor

Van den Kieboom, Leigh

Abstract

This dissertation explores inequities created by intradistrict school choice policies in a mid-sized urban school district. Five years of parent intradistrict school choice forms, totaling 6,245 submissions, were reviewed and coded to highlight themes pertaining to why parents utilize the intradistrict school choice program. Current student enrollment was pulled and analyzed to show student movement trends based upon demographics such as ethnicity, special education status, and socio-economic levels. This data was utilized in interviews with building principals to determine if perceived inequities posed real consequences to their buildings. The findings suggest inequities in the intradistrict school choice process. Specifically, BIPOC students and economically disadvantaged students were disproportionately underserved as participants within the intradistrict school choice program. This led to greater segregation across the district. The findings were utilized to suggest policy changes that would lead to a more equitable intradistrict school choice process, specifically for BIPOC and economically disadvantaged students. Finally, the findings and implications contribute to the knowledge base surrounding school choice. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are noted within the study.

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