Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Education

Abstract

In the midst of a global context tied to expanding market connections, the United States adopted privatized education reform that has only been increasing over the years. Specific states have adopted privatization in varying degrees and forms, including vouchers, charter schools, public-private partnerships, contracting out services, and virtual education. States have implemented privatization forms for different reasons, such as to improve student achievement, save money, or provide for increased student choice. This research study evaluates the impact of privatization reforms on student achievement by examining the relationship between various privatization elements in state laws and student achievement. To do so, this study employed mixed methods to code and obtain privatization data and assess the states’ student achievement levels in math and reading as demonstrated on the NAEP in 2015. Aligning with the generally mixed findings of privatization reform efforts on student achievement, this study produced mixed results. The results mainly showed negative relationships between privatization elements and student achievement, but the results were statistically insignificant. Thus, based on the mixed and insignificant relationship results, privatization may not be an effective solution to improve student achievement on its own.

Keywords: Privatization; Reform; Education; Education Policy; School Choice; Charter Schools; School Vouchers; Contracts; Public-Private Partnerships; Virtual Schools; Online Classes; State Laws; Student Achievement

Keywords: Privatization; Reform; Education; Education Policy; School Choice; Charter Schools; School Vouchers; Contracts; Public-Private Partnership; Virtual Schools; Online Classes; State Laws; Student Achievement

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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