Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

Advisor/Committee Chair

Timothy Weaver


In this paper, I will attempt to answer two questions: 1) why has school choice legislation been successfully passed at the state level, but not the federal level; and 2) have the school choice programs implemented at the state level been successful? To answer the first, I will conduct a political analysis of state governments and our current federal government. To answer the second, I will analyze two different school choice programs (Florida’s and Wisconsin’s) and consider success based on academic achievement, standardized test scores, level of competition in area public schools, enrollment in 2 and 4 year colleges and universities and the rate of graduation from these institutions. I will then compare these metrics to the metrics of public schools in the area to see if school choice is actually achieving the outcomes it sets out to achieve and allowing students, especially disadvantaged students, to attain better educations. I predict that the answer to the first question is simply that there are higher levels of partisanship at the federal level, meaning opposing parties are less willing to work together to pass policy and more likely to find a reason, any reason really, to oppose policy proposed by the opposing party. I predict that school choice programs will provide successful outcomes at the state level once properly analyzed and that the programs will prove to positively impact students, including disadvantaged and low-income students.