Intra-district transfer policies allow students to attend any school within a district and thus may have unique consequences for stratification within a district. If parents make choices based on common academic interests, this policy can create racial and socioeconomic integration across the schools in a district. However, socially motivated choices may lead to the creation of increasingly stratified zones. This study examines one urban school district with an intra-district transfer policy to examine if the schools in the district become more racially and economically stratified under the choice policy and if the level of stratification at family's zoned schools is correlated with participation in choice. Results show that families zoned to schools mirroring the district's diverse composition are more likely to participate in choice, suggesting that more factors than simple academically-based motivations guide choice behavior. Exploration of the levels of stratification in schools with and without the choice policy suggests that the overall trend is to maintain the level of stratification present in the residential areas. Although most changes under the choice policy are small in magnitude, the changes that do occur push the district towards increased stratification.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Sociology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Larsen, Elisabeth Stuart, "Stratified Neighborhoods, Stratified Schools: Intradistrict Transfer and Racial and Socioeconomic Stratification" (2009). Theses and Dissertations. 1710.
school choice, stratification