Open Enrollment and Disrupting the Political Ecology of U.S. Public Education

Carrie Sampson, David R. Garcia, Matthew O. Hom, Melanie Bertrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Despite receiving little academic attention, open enrollment has the greatest potential among school choice policies to transform the governance of local school districts because all student transfers occur within the public school system, meaning that families and governance structures in two (or more) school districts are impacted by open-enrollment decisions. In this conceptual disconnection we demonstrate how open enrollment complicates the traditional educational ecosystem dramatically by altering existing relationships and introducing new actors and relationships into how school districts establish and implement policies. We then complicate the traditional analysis of open enrollment through the lens of Critical Policy Analysis, alongside an example from an Arizona school district, to illustrate the ways that racism and other forms of oppression are often overlooked, yet salient in (mis)shaping democratic governance in a political ecology disrupted by open enrollment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-73
Number of pages12
JournalPeabody Journal of Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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