One premise of school choice is that parents largely use academic quality indicators to choose schools. Exploratory data from 21 in-depth interviews of parents in affluent Houston neighborhoods suggest that other sources of information (such as stereotypes about race and class) are meaningful for high-status parents, who have the greatest ability to exercise school choice. This may have unintended consequences for school choice programs within a racially diverse district, which may undermine equality of opportunity goals. Interview data illuminate the ways in which choice works in favor of those with greater resources.
Photo: Rae Allen