Friday, March 3, 2017

Stanford Researcher Presents the Evidence Against Trump-DeVos Voucher Plans | janresseger

Stanford Researcher Presents the Evidence Against Trump-DeVos Voucher Plans | janresseger:

Stanford Researcher Presents the Evidence Against Trump-DeVos Voucher Plans

It seems that President Donald Trump and his education secretary, Betsy DeVos are looking to tuition tax credits, a form of school vouchers, to fulfill Trump’s campaign promise to expand school choice.  (This blog has covered Trump and DeVos’s interest in tuition tax credits herehere, and here.)
Martin Carnoy, a professor of education and economics at Stanford University, published a report on Tuesday for the Economic Policy Institute that questions the expansion of school tuition vouchers. The driving motivation for promoters of vouchers, writes Carnoy, is ideological and is not based on any evidence that vouchers improve educational outcomes overall: “The lack of evidence that vouchers significantly improve student achievement (test scores), coupled with the evidence of a modest, at best, impact on educational attainment (graduation rates), suggests that an ideological preference for education markets over equity and public accountability is what is driving the push to expand voucher programs.”
Carnoy explains that voucher programs have met neither of two promises of their proponents— that recipients of vouchers will do better in private schools and that vouchers will drive public schools to improve when competition is introduced: “Voucher proponents argue that offering students the opportunity, through public financing, to attend private rather than public schools produces significant gains at two levels: that individual students gain from attending a more effective (private) school, and that students remaining in public schools gain because increasing private school competition for public school students pushes public schools to improve.”  Summarizing a number of research evaluations of  a range of voucher programs—in Washington, D.C.; Dayton, Ohio; Indiana; Louisiana; Milwaukee; Florida; and internationally in Chile and India, Carnoy concludes:
“Studies of voucher programs in several U.S. cities, the states of Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, and in Chile and India, find limited improvements at best in student achievement and school district performance from even large-scale programs. In the few cases in which test scores increased, other factors, namely increased public accountability, not private school competition, seem to be more likely drivers. And high rates of attrition from private schools among voucher users in several studies raise concerns. The second largest and longest-standing U.S. voucher program, in Milwaukee, offers no solid evidence of student gains in either private or public schools.  In the only area in which there is evidence of small improvements in voucher schools—in high school graduation and college enrollment rates—there are no data to show whether the gains are the result of schools shedding lower-performing students or engaging in positive practices.”
Carnoy believes that voucher programs introduce serious risks to our system of public Stanford Researcher Presents the Evidence Against Trump-DeVos Voucher Plans | janresseger:

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