by Dara Zeehandelaar, Amber E. Winkler
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
August 29, 2013
The dominant approach to public education for most of our nation’s history was for local districts to offer standard-issue schools. Today, however, families across much of the country can choose among multiple public-school options. But what do parents really want? Could we do a better job of creating and delivering the educational options that families most crave for their kids? Analysts and advocates interested in the “demand” side of school choice have long focused on parents’ educational preferences. But parents are too often viewed as a monolith of similar if not identical preferences. This groundbreaking study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute takes a different approach: It attempts to “segment” U.S. parents into distinguishable groups, each with its own set of values, priorities, and preferences regarding education.