A Case Study of Intra-District School Choice Policy in a Large Urban District
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ABSTRACT Intra-district choice policy is a mechanism that provides parents the opportunity to apply to send their children to a portfolio of schools within a traditional school district in which the family resides by allowing students to transfer out of their assigned campus based on attendance zone. The impact of such policy has not been examined in the largest school system in Texas. The purpose of this policy analysis was to evaluate the impact of intra-district choice policy on the attrition and movement of two case study secondary schools. A longitudinal qualitative case study analysis was used to examine the subsequent impact on two secondary schools, JR Middle School and JJ High School (pseudonyms), from 2007–2013. Both schools were reconstituted as a result of declining enrollment and declining academic performance. The significance of the study is that little research has been conducted into the impacts of intra-district choice policy meant to create a market-based reform movement by school board members whose intent was to decentralize the nation’s seventh largest school district and empower principals to create competitive environments resulting in parents having a portfolio of public schools from which to choose. This policy analysis was conducted to provide a roadmap for superintendents and school board members seeking to implement policy reform by providing intra-district choice for students and parents. Results of this policy analysis can be used by practitioners and board members as they navigate a complex political environment that requires innovation and forethought as school districts become viable options for parents seeking the best educational opportunities for their children. The study adds to the literature on the impact of intra-district choice in the largest urban school system in Texas using a qualitative case study of a middle and high school.
Cardona, Michael (2021). A Case Study of Intra-District School Choice Policy in a Large Urban District. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from