NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Does School Choice Increase School Quality?

George M. Holmes, Jeff DeSimone, Nicholas G. Rupp

NBER Working Paper No. 9683
Issued in May 2003
NBER Program(s):   ED

Federal No Child Left Behind' legislation, which enables students of low-performing schools to exercise public school choice, exemplies a widespread belief that competing for students will spur public schools to higher achievement. We investigate how the introduction of school choice in North Carolina, via a dramatic increase in the number of charter schools across the state, affects the performance of traditional public schools on statewide tests. We find test score gains from competition that are robust to a variety of specifications. The introduction of charter school competition causes an approximate one percent increase in the score, which constitutes about one quarter of the average yearly growth.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w9683

Published: Advances in Applied Microeconomics Volume 14. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2006.

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