Saturday, June 24, 2017

Stop wating money on school vouchers | Charlotte Observer

Stop wating money on school vouchers | Charlotte Observer:

The evidence is clear, vouchers don’t work

Students who accept vouchers to attend private schools lose ground academically and perform worse on standardized tests than students who remain in public schools.
That’s the takeaway from studies involving state vouchers in Louisiana, Ohio, and Indiana, as well as the only federally funded vouchers in Washington, DC.
In April, the Institute of Education Sciences, the independent, non-partisan research wing of the Department of Education, published the performance measures of students who used Opportunity Scholarship Program vouchers in Washington, DC to attend private schools. On the whole, students posted a 7 percentile-point decline in mathematics and a 5 percentile-point decline in reading compared to students who applied for the vouchers but attended public schools instead.
Studies of state-supported voucher programs show similar negative impacts on learning. In Louisiana, voucher students fell from 50th to 34th percentile in math scores. In Ohio, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute said that the voucher program was “unambiguously negative across a variety of model specifications, for both reading and mathematics.” The largest voucher program in the US is in Indiana, and it, too, posted negative impacts on learning.
Researchers Christopher Lubienski, education policy professor at Indiana University, and Sarah Lubienski, a mathematics education professor at the University of Illinois, published a lengthy analysis of these recent voucher studies and concluded that “any apparent advantages for students in private schools are actually a reflection of the fact that private schools do a better job of attracting – not producing – high-scoring students.”
Voucher supporters argue that vouchers help children by giving them an opportunity to attend superior religious or private schools. Those schools, however, only appear superior because they already enroll high-performing advantaged children. The IES study shows that voucher children coming from “underperforming” public schools show no improvement at all on achievement, while students coming from higher-performing public schools lose considerable academic ground in private schools.

The Lubienskis point out that early voucher programs might have seemed more effective Stop wating money on school vouchers | Charlotte Observer:

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