Social Returns to Private Choice? Effects of Charter Schools on Behavioral Outcomes, Arrests, and Civic Participation

This quasi-experimental paper by Andrew McEachin, Douglas Lee Lauen, Sarah Crittendon Fuller, and Rachel M. Perera examines the effect of charter high school attendance on ninth grade students’ likelihood to vote and likelihood to commit crime. The authors find that students who entered the charter sector in ninth grade were more likely to vote and less likely to engage in negative behaviors (chronic absenteeism, suspension, conviction of a felony, and conviction of a misdemeanor) than students who remained in the public school sector. When comparing students who remained in charter schools in eight and ninth grades to those who left, the authors identify a similar pattern but results were less significant than for students entering the charter sector in ninth grade.

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