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Pro-Charter Group Finds Open Enrollment Among Public School Districts Helps Students in New Study

A study from a pro-charter school group shows that open enrollment in public schools helped students. In one population, their grades dramatically improved.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute tracked 70,000 students who transferred from their home public schools to schools that admitted them through open enrollment. Chad Aldis with Fordham says, on average, students move up 2 to 4 percentiles compared to the kids who remain in their home districts.

“For African American students, we actually found the difference was 10 percentile. So that’d be the equivalent of the 50th percentile moving to the 60th percentile.”

More than 480 Ohio public school districts allow open enrollment, but Aldis says many of the top districts do not. The practice has cost some districts more than a million dollars in state funding and can result in some districts over-extending to take in more students. 

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