CLOSUP Seminars: The Effect of School Choice on College and Crime
David Deming will present his study of the implementation of an open enrollment public school choice plan in Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district (CMS) in 2002. Students were guaranteed admission to their home school but could apply to as many as 3 other public schools in the district. Where demand for slots exceeded supply, assignment was determined by randomized lottery. Deming finds significant benefits of school choice for students who come from neighborhoods that are assigned to very low performing schools. Female lottery winners from these areas are more likely to attend a four year college. Male lottery winners are less likely to be subsequently arrested, particularly for drug-related felonies. The effect of the lottery on arrest rates grows with time. Deming finds no benefits of choice for students whose default school is of even average quality.