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Study: The Best and Worst Cities for School Choice

“Education,” according to Dr. Ben Carson, “is the is the great divide in our country.”

While attending the Iowa Freedom Summit last month, Dr. Carson explained to Townhall:


“Someone who has a good education, regardless of their background regardless of their ethnicity, can pretty much write their own ticket.”

School choice, or giving families access to higher performing schools outside of the constraints of their zip code, is one of the most lauded techniques for ensuring every child gets an education tailored to his or her unique abilities.

This month, The Brookings Institution published its annual Education Choice and Competition Index (ECCI) to reveal which of the nation’s largest school districts offer the most parental flexibility.

Here are the districts that topped the charts:

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 10.04.49 AM.png

The grading rubric assessed each district on its alternatives to traditional public school, accessibility to online classes, use of funding, school transparency, and effectiveness in tracking student achievements, among other things. 


For the last three years, the Recovery School District in New Orleans and the New York City Department of Education have received the highest marks for school choice and competition.

Here are the districts offering the fewest options to parents and children:

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 10.23.40 AM.png

Parents have a vested interest in their children’s education. Most are eager to see their kids get good grades, land a decent paying job, and—hopefully—move out of the house one day. It seems to only make sense to allow the people who know their children best and who are rooting for their success to have a role in shaping their learning.

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