Still Worth the Trip? School Busing Effects in Boston and New York

This quasi-experimental study examines whether students who attend non-neighborhood schools through district choice benefit from the additional travel required. Focusing on two cities with district-wide choice and long histories of school segregation, Boston and New York, the authors using school matching algorithms to isolate the potential effects of attending a non-neighborhood school from the family and student qualities that are related to attendance at a non-neighborhood school. They find that black and Hispanic students are more likely to attend schools with less than 90% minority enrollment if they enroll in a non-neighborhood school. However, the achievement and college-going rates of these schools is similar in neighborhood and non-neighborhood schools. In all, traveling further distances to attend school improves school integration, but not student outcomes.

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