An Evaluation of Denver's SchoolChoice Process, 2012–2014: Is the School Enrollment System Working for Families?

January 2015

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Since its 2012 implementation, Denver Public School’s SchoolChoice process has been stable and successful, but lingering gaps remain in terms of participation and families’ reasonable access to higher-performing schools. Approximately 80 percent of students are matched with one of their choices, and most students are matched with their top choice school. But student demographic traits, where they live, and what they prioritize all impact a successful match.

Using application data from the city’s SchoolChoice system, CRPE evaluated Denver’s school choice process. Through this analysis, we learned that much work remains to be done to satisfy Denver families’ demand for quality. There’s more analysis needed to investigate the trade-offs parents make regarding quality and proximity, as well as opportunities to further expand school choice participation and to provide a consistent supply of high-quality options for Denver families to choose from.