“It’s Our Best Choice Right Now”: Examining the Choice Options of Charter School Parents


  • Adriana Villavicencio




charter schools, parent choice, choice policies


One of the underlying premises of the charter school movement is that quality drives consumer choice. As educational consumers, parents are viewed as rational actors who, if given the choice, will select better performing school. In examining the choice processes of charter school parents, however, this study calls into question the extent to which some parents can make optimal choices. Interviews with parents enrolled in two different charter schools indicate that charter parents do not necessarily choose higher performing charter schools; nor do they necessarily leave low performing charter schools. The study also provides evidence that parent “choice sets” (Bell, 2009) vary depending on networks and social capital. Thus, choice alone does not necessarily ensure that parents will have better, more equal options.


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Author Biography

Adriana Villavicencio

Adriana Villavicencio is a Research Associate at the Research Alliance for New York City Schools. Prior to pursuing her graduate studies, Dr. Villavicencio served as a department chair at a charter high school in Oakland, California, as an English teacher in Brooklyn, New York, and worked on the development of a new school in Bangalore, India. Villavicencio holds a B.A. in English from Columbia University, an M.A. in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.




How to Cite

Villavicencio, A. (2013). “It’s Our Best Choice Right Now”: Examining the Choice Options of Charter School Parents. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 21, 81. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v21n81.2013