Surveying the Future: Hispanics, Accountability and School Choice
David R. Garcia

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



Arizona State University

Primary Discipline

The purpose of this study is to examine the convergence of two trends that will impact education: the diversification of the Hispanic community and the union of accountability and school choice policies. If demographic projections hold true, as Hispanics go, so will the future direction of long-debated educational policies. There is a dearth of evidence within the academic literature, however, to provide an indication of which direction Hispanics may take the debate. The issues of school choice and racial segregation have almost exclusively been framed using Black/White comparisons. In addition to segregation, the study will focus on the orientation of Hispanics toward the joint use of accountability and school choice as a reform strategy. The study will build upon preliminary evidence which indicates that Hispanics act differently from other racial/ethnic groups in school choice settings. Hispanics were the only racial/ethnic group in Arizona not to self-segregate after exercising school choice. On school accountability, the current trend in education reform is to use school accountability to highlight failures with the public school system in order to introduce school choice policies as a solution. There is evidence that Arizona Hispanics hold strict opinions on school accountability, a trend that could pave the way for harsh school accountability policies and expansive choice. This study will be conducted in Arizona, a state with a large-scale, competitive school choice system and a diverse Hispanic population that portends the future demographic make-up of the United States. The choice of context allows the experiences of the Hispanic population to serve as a backdrop where assimilation may influence intergenerational differences on educational issues. The southwest experience is of particular interest because the continued influx of Mexican immigrants creates a constant reminder of racial/ethnic decisions and reinforces cultural stereotypes among the dominant population. The study is a mixed methods design using a diverse array of data, including large-scale data, a statewide opinion survey and select interviews to give voice to the trends found in the large-scale data. The results could reveal the lineaments of educational policies for years to come.
About David R. Garcia

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