School Choice and Marginalization: The Case of School District Competition and Political Institutions in the U.S.

  • Nandan Kumar Jha Valdosta State University


This paper studies effectiveness of school choice and type of school districts’ political institutions jointly vis-à-vis student learning. School choice relies on market-oriented policies for reforming public education, but their effectiveness, i.e., equity and productive efficiency is debatable. The effectiveness of different types of political institutions that manage school districts and compete for students in urban regions in the USA is also a neglected area of research. This study fills these gaps by empirically investigating the joint relationships of inter-school district competition- a key dimension of school choice- and local political institutions with student learning. Results from the analysis of a unique data show that inter-school district competition has some productive efficiency effects on student achievement, the political institution does not. The inter-school district competition and political institutions have differential equity effects on student achievement. This paper substantively discusses these results in the context of school choice and marginalization.
Research Articles