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Competition with Charters Motivates Districts

October 1, 2013
Marc Holley
Anna J. EgaliteMartin F. Lueken
New political circumstances, growing popularity

Proponents of market-based education reform often argue that introducing charter schools and other school choice policies creates a competitive dynamic that will prompt low-performing districts to improve their practice. Rather than simply providing an alternative to neighborhood public schools for a handful of students, the theory says, school choice programs actually benefit students remaining in their neighborhood schools, too. Competition motivates districts to respond to the loss of students and the revenues students bring, producing a rising tide that, as the common metaphor suggests, lifts all boats.

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