Portfolio Management Models

Authored by: Katrina E. Bulkley , Ayesha K. Hashim

Handbook of Research on School Choice

Print publication date:  June  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815381464
eBook ISBN: 9781351210447
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter reviews the empirical literature on portfolio management models (PMMs), which involve systemic governance change—from school district central offices directly operating public schools within a geographical area to central offices overseeing autonomous schools, which may be traditional public, charter, or other school types. This chapter examines the research on the development and politics of PMMs, highlighting the importance of local “policy shocks” and the interplay between local and national actors. It also considers the limited research on the implementation of the PMM idea and how it is enacted differently across local contexts, and it reviews studies on both academic and nonacademic student outcomes. There are some hints of positive outcomes as well as important questions about variation in school quality and issues of equity. The research base on PMMs is currently too preliminary for clear conclusions.

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