(2018, October) | Useful, research-based guide for Parent Centers, schools systems, and policy makers sharing information about school choice with parents.


Presenting School Choice Information to Parents: An Evidence-Based Guide, from the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), presents findings from an online experiment conducted with 3,500 low-income parents. Each parent viewed one of 72 different web pages displaying information about schools in a hypothetical district. The study examined how variations in the displays affected:

  • parents’ understanding of the information;
  • perceived ease of use and satisfaction; and
  • which schools they would choose given what was shown.

Findings suggest parents generally preferred looking at school information displays that had graphs as well as numbers, more rather than less data, and a list of choices ordered by each school’s distance from home. But showing schools ordered by their academic performance made parents more likely to pick a higher performing school for their child.

The report, its appendices, a study snapshot(4 pages), and a 1-page “highlights” are available, at: