The Politics of Parental Involvement: How Opportunity Hoarding and Prying Shape Educational Opportunity

Dawn Lyken-Segosebe, Serena E. Hinz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


As more state legislatures join the debate on school-choice and parent-trigger legislation, their discussions draw attention to an evolving landscape outside school walls where parental action shapes educational opportunity. Parents wield their political, social, economic, and cultural capital to secure the best educational outcomes for their children. This paper identifies the political frames that distinguish the educational opportunity-seeking behavior of middle-, working-, and lower-class parents. Rational choice and interest group theories are used to explain the politics of middle-class opportunity hoarding by way of tracking and school-choice practices. Policy entrepreneurship and interest group theory provide the frameworks to explain the support for vouchers and parent-trigger laws by lower- and working-class parents as part of their opportunity-prying efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-112
Number of pages20
JournalPeabody Journal of Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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