A DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS OF CREAM SKIMMING AND PUSHOUT IN CHOICE VERSUS TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Adam Kho, Ron Zimmer, Andrew McEachin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

One of the controversies surrounding charter schools is whether these schools may either “cream skim” high-performing students from traditional public schools or “pushout” low-achieving students or students with discipline histories, leaving traditional public schools to educate the most challenging students. In this study, we use longitudinal statewide data from Tennessee and North Carolina and linear probability models to examine whether there is evidence consistent with these selective enrollment practices. Because school choice programs managed by districts (mag-net and open enrollment programs) have a similar ability to cream skim and pushout students, we also examine these outcomes for these programs. Across the various school choice programs, magnet schools have the most evidence of cream skimming, but this might be expected as they often have selective admissions. For charter schools, we do not find patterns in the data consistent with cream skimming, but we do find evidence consistent with pushout behaviors based on discipline records. Finally, some have raised concerns that students may be pushed out near accountability test dates, but our results suggest no evidence consistent with this claim.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-187
Number of pages28
JournalEducation Finance and Policy
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Sarah Smith for assistance in editing the manuscript. This paper was generously supported by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation. All errors are our own.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Association for Education Finance and Policy.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS OF CREAM SKIMMING AND PUSHOUT IN CHOICE VERSUS TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this