Thursday, July 14, 2016

Education Insider: Conservatives bummed by results of Ohio school-voucher study | The Columbus Dispatch

Education Insider: Conservatives bummed by results of Ohio school-voucher study | The Columbus Dispatch:

Education Insider: Conservatives bummed by results of Ohio school-voucher study


report last week by the pro-school-choice Thomas B. Fordham Institute on Ohio’s private-school voucher program showed that vouchers hurt the academic achievement of those students who use them but help those who don’t.
First, hats off to the conservative institute, which said it commissioned the study hoping to prove that voucher students were doing better. “Let us acknowledge that we did not expect — or, frankly, wish — to see these negative effects for voucher participants,” Fordham wrote.
Students who used vouchers to attend participating private schools on the taxpayers’ dime performed significantly worse on standardized tests than “they would have performed had they remained in the public schools,” the study found. Maybe private schools don’t teach to the test, or maybe the ones that accept vouchers aren’t really that great.
But the really shocking part was that the voucher students typically start out as higher-performing students compared with those who could have used a voucher but didn’t. Students don’t get vouchers unless the private school accepts them, the study noted. That allows private schools to turn away the lower-performing students.
The study also concludes that, even though voucher students got worse results, the voucher program was responsible for improving the public schools’ results. In a nutshell, the study used three methods: one found zero improvement in the public schools as a result of vouchers; another, using different assumptions, found that vouchers improved the public schools; and the “tiebreaker” also found improvement, but almost all of it was among white, more-affluent boys in middle school.
The study concludes that public schools improved because they were forced to compete against the poor-performing voucher schools. That sounds kind of like the Cleveland Browns concluding: We lose our games despite getting the No. 1 draft picks each year, but having us around causes the rest of the NFL to do better.

ECOT’s tough week in court

ECOT, the state’s largest online charter school, went to court Monday to argue that state lawmakers never intended to require that its students actually participate in school for a year in return for a year’s worth of state funding. It argued that students must only be “presented with” 920 hours of “learning opportunities” each academic year — they don’t actually have to do that much schoolwork.
The Ohio Administrative Code, the compilation of rules the state uses to enforce the law, says this about the minimum hours of required learning opportunities:
“‘Learning opportunity’ means classroom-based or non-classroom-based supervised instructional and educational activities that are Education Insider: Conservatives bummed by results of Ohio school-voucher study | The Columbus Dispatch:


LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
EduBloggers

Latest News and Comment from Education