Voucher Study

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Arkansas has a report out on how Mil­wau­kee’s school vouch­er pro­gram is doing. Fred­er­ick Hess writes at The Enter­prise Blog:

Wolf, who has led this effort as well as the fed­er­al­ly endorsed eval­u­a­tion of the D.C. vouch­er pro­gram, sum­ma­rized, “Vouch­er stu­dents are show­ing aver­age rates of achieve­ment gain sim­i­lar to their pub­lic school peers.” Trans­la­tion: when it comes to test scores, stu­dents with vouch­ers are per­form­ing no dif­fer­ent­ly than oth­er kids.

If I recall cor­rect­ly, I many times heard the argu­ment for vouch­ers to include the idea that a vouch­er sys­tem would improve the pub­lic schools which had to com­pete for stu­dents. That being the case, that the vouch­er stu­dents “are per­form­ing no dif­fer­ent­ly than the oth­er kids” would be the ide­al, not a fail­ure. And there is the “stu­dents are show­ing aver­age rates of achieve­ment gain…” Gain over what?

There is this from Hess: “black stu­dents in the pub­lic schools have the low­est read­ing scores of any cohort of black stu­dents in the coun­try.” So that would seem to indi­cate that there has not been much improve­ment. But maybe only the most chal­leng­ing black stu­dents remain in the pub­lic schools and the rest got into the vouch­er system.

I am too lazy to read the study itself so right now I am a bit con­fused over whether the vouch­er sys­tem failed or not.

Hat tip to Jonathan Chait at The New Republic.

2 thoughts on “Voucher Study”

  1. If I recall cor­rect­ly, I many times heard the argu­ment for vouch­ers to include the idea that a vouch­er sys­tem would improve the pub­lic schools which had to com­pete for students.”

    I am too lazy to read the study itself so right now I am a bit con­fused over whether the vouch­er sys­tem failed or not.”

    Maybe we should get a vouch­er sys­tem for the inter­net so that those not on the vouch­er sys­tem would be less lazy about read­ing, and more competitive.

    ;o)

  2. Good to hear from you, Luka. I was think­ing yes­ter­day that it had been awhile since I had heard from you.

    If by vouch­er sys­tem, you mean I would be paid to read the study and blog about it, well, that would work for me!

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