School choice may increase student engagement by enabling students to attend schools that more closely match their needs and preferences. But this effect on engagement may depend on the characteristics of the choices available. Therefore, we consider how the amount of educational choice of different types in a local educational marketplace affects student engagement using a large, national population of 8th grade students. We find that more choice of regular public schools in the elementary and middle school years is associated with a lower likelihood that students will be severely disengaged in eighth grade, and more choices of public schools of choice has a similar effect but only in urban areas. In contrast, more private sector choice does not have such a general beneficial effect.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science