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Friday, March 25, 2011

It is vouchers work

Dr. Greg Forster at the Foundation for Education Choice released a report titled "A Win-Win" recently. The report reviewed the empirical data on school vouchers and student achievement and school vouchers and their systemic effects on public schools.

So what are the results?

9 out of 10 random assignment studies show that students benefit from being able to use a school voucher to attend a private school. No study shows that students are harmed by vouchers (one study from D.C. shows that winning a voucher - whether they used the voucher or not - does not result in greater student achievement, but who cares, that same study also showed a 23 point gain in graduation rates for students who used the voucher).

As for systemic effects, that is what happens in the public schools when students leave with vouchers, the evidence shows (overwhelmingly) that public schools respond by IMPROVING! Who knew competition would actually work? (Hint: I did)

21 studies show that public schools improve when faced with competition, 1 study (again D.C.) showed no improvement. Here is the kicker with D.C. - public schools were insulated from competitive pressure because they didn't lose a single penny when kids defected to private schools.