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Illogical Assumptions and Lack of Evidence Render School Choice Analysis Useless

BOULDER, CO (March 2, 2023)—A recent report from the directors of EdChoice, published by the Manhattan Institute, oversimplifies important equity issues as problems of school zone boundaries.

Christopher Lubienski of Indiana University and T. Jameson Brewer of the University of North Georgia reviewed K-12 Without Borders: Public School Students, Families, and Teachers Shut In by Education Boundaries. Their review criticizes the report for illogical assumptions, lack of evidence, sleight of hand, and improbable leaps of logic, all of which make its advice to policymakers useless.

The report’s core contention is that diminishing or eliminating school district boundaries and expanding school choice will allow for three desirable outcomes: (1) students attending better schools, (2) homeowners moving to cheaper housing or seeing their property value rise, and (3) teachers enjoying improved pensions. The review points to a dearth of reliable evidence offered in the report to support these assertions.

For example, despite noting mixed research results on how school choice affects housing patterns, the report assumes that eliminating school zone boundaries will necessarily result in wealthy families voluntarily relocating into poorer neighborhoods. It never addresses the documented reality that many parents work to ensure that school district boundaries replicate segregation and inequity.

Similarly, the report offers no solutions to such concurrent problems as transportation for students choosing distant schools or housing for residents displaced by gentrification. Instead, the report glibly assumes someone, somewhere, will somehow find solutions.

Find the review, by Christopher Lubienski and T. Jameson Brewer, at:

Find K-12 Without Borders: Public School Students, Families, and Teachers Shut In by Education Boundaries, written by Martin F. Lueken and Michael Q. McShane and published by the Manhattan Institute, at:


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