Nudging Parents to Choose Better Schools: The Importance of School Choice Architecture

Nudging Parents to Choose Better Schools: The Importance of School Choice Architecture

Working Paper 65
Published: Nov 01, 2018
Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
Download
Associated Project

In the School Choice Era, Making Shopping for Schools Easier

Time frame: 2015-2018

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences

The Walton Family Foundation

Authors

Steven Glazerman

Jon Valant

This study reports on a factorial experiment using Bayesian hierarchical analysis to test the effects of different ways to present school information to low-income parents choosing schools for their children. The study examined the effects of five design factors on knowledge about the schools, attitudes about using the online school chooser tool, and school choice behavior. We found evidence of impacts on each factor on many of these outcomes, with some effects being especially strong or policy relevant. For example, simple design choices, such as  setting the default sort order to academic performance instead of distance from home, could induce parents to choose academically higher performing schools.

See Clearly. Act Quickly.

We can help you shine a spotlight through the dark. Get in touch to learn more about how Mathematica could help advance your mission.

Explore Partnership