Lessons on Making School Choice Easier for Families


Districts are expanding school choice options for families – whether within existing public school systems or with charters and vouchers. Can lessons about choice from other policy arenas help improve the school choice process?

Choosing a school can be overwhelming and complex for families as they try to find a school that best meets their children’s needs. It may require keeping track of multiple deadlines, understanding how schools differ in academic quality, and considering the location of the school and the transportation costs of getting there. All of this can prove especially challenging for low-income and recent-immigrant families who may be dealing with unstable housing, limited transportation options, and language barriers.

Offering supports, simplifying the processes, and personalizing information, among other things, can help families navigate decisions about school choice.

Join Katie Beal as she talks to Barbara Condliffe, Research Associate at MDRC, who recently co-wrote a brief with Rekha Balu on building a school choice architecture.

About MDRC’s “Evidence First” Podcast Series

Policymakers talk about solutions, but which ones really work? Join Katie Beal, MDRC’s External Affairs Associate, as she talks with experts about the best evidence available on education and social programs that serve low-income people.