School Choice Increases Student Safety

Originally Published: The Foundry

by Evan Walter March 12, 2012

A newly released report by David Deming, assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School for Education, shows that school choice doesn’t just foster academic improvement and increased graduation rates—students are also safer.

Deming studied data on the amount of criminal activity that occurred in the Charlotte–Mecklenburg school district (CMS) after the district ended its policy of busing students in 2001. CMS had enacted its busing policy to satisfy Swann v. Charlotte, a court order to desegregate schools in the district starting in 1971. In 2001, the court order was overturned, and CMS was told it could no longer determine school assignments based on race. A year later, CMS decided to implement a one-time, lottery-based school choice program for its students. Parents of CMS students were allowed to submit up to three school choices for their children but were guaranteed a spot in the school in their district, if they chose that school.

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