Date of Award

Spring 5-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban and Regional Planning


School of Urban and Regional Planning

Major Professor

Marla Nelson

Second Advisor

Renia Ehrenfeucht

Third Advisor

Laura Hawkins


The primary objective of the study is to identify the extent to which the current school choice policy in New Orleans has afforded students in underserved neighborhoods or city planning districts the opportunity to attend quality schools elsewhere in the city. Though all students in New Orleans have access to schools outside their neighborhood, more than two-thirds (68%) of public school students attended a school within their planning district or in the adjacent planning district in the 2011-12 school year. In staying close to home, just one-fifth (22 percent) of students attended a quality school. A clear relationship existed between a planning district’s service level and its socio-economic and racial make-up as well as the performance level of its students’ schools. The results of this analysis suggest that the lack of quality schools in low-income and minority areas significantly limits those families’ access to quality schools even under New Orleans’ far-reaching school choice policy.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.