NEPC Review: K-12 Without Borders: Public School Students, Families, and Teachers Shut In by Education Boundaries (Manhattan Institute, November 2022)
A report oversimplifies important equity issues as problems of school zone boundaries. 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—ignoring the documented reality that many parents work to ensure that school district boundaries replicate segregation and inequity. In addition, the report offers no solutions to such concurrent problems as transportation for students choosing distant schools or housing for residents displaced by gentrification. The report’s illogical assumptions, lack of evidence, sleight of hand, and improbable leaps of logic make its advice to policymakers useless.