This report, designed as one component of the comprehensive evaluation of the Milwaukee school system being conducted by the School Choice Demonstration Project (SCDP), is based on focus group conversations with low-income families whose children attend Milwaukee public and private schools. The report seeks to elucidate the demand side of school choice from the perspective of the end users. More specifically, it describes the experiences of low-income families and uses their insights to better understand the strengths and limitations of their attempts to exercise parental school choice. Among its distinguishing characteristics, Milwaukee has the first publicly funded means-tested voucher program in the United States. Coupled with traditional public schools and a robust charter school community, Milwaukee provides an unprecedented set of school options to its residents. Equally as important, Milwaukee provides those interested in urban education reform with a unique opportunity to learn from a city at a relatively advanced phase of school reform.
Stewart, Thomas; Lucas-McLean, Juanita; Jensen, Laura I.; Fetzko, Christina; Ho, Bonnie; and Segovia, Sylvia, "Family Voices on Parental School Choice in Milwaukee: What can we learn from low-income families?" (2010). School Choice Demonstration Project. 56.