Educational Innovation and Diversification in School Choice Plans

The concept of innovation has been closely tied to the push for school choice, serving as a key rationale for such choice plans as charter schools, vouchers and other alternatives to neighborhood-based school assignment. While innovation continually occurs to varying degrees throughout American education, some versions of school choice are specifically designed to accelerate the pace of innovation, not only in how education is organized, but more importantly in teaching and learning, where substantive innovation is thought to have the greatest and most direct impact for students. While some choice reforms are specifically designed to force innovation by generating competition, questions remain as to what extent and how these reforms actually do so.