Hartford has the lowest student achievement test scores in the State of Connecticut, which is also the state with the highest achievement gap. Since 2008 Hartford students have had the choice to apply to a variety of schools, including Hartford public neighborhood schools, Hartford public interdistrict magnet schools, and suburban Open Choice schools. The rationale for open choice is primarily to allow parents to choose better performing schools, driving out the lower performing schools, thus improving the achievement level of Hartford students. In our research we attempt to answer: “Which Hartford students were more likely to exercise choice?” We use data on all Hartford Public School students grades 3-8. We expect to find students making applications to higher performing schools. We found, however, that very few students who are currently attending a HPS apply to another HP neighborhood school. Of these applications, 30% was to Achievement First, the only HP district school with a high achievement score. Movement to this high performing school was almost exclusively from the north end, where the school is located. Virtually no applications came from the south end of Hartford.
DelConte, Matt and Trivedi, Sushil, "Who Chooses? Which Hartford students are likely to apply to a different public school operated by the City?" (2012). Community Learning Research Fellows. 74.