23rd 2011
Studies Show Vouchers Help Kids, Schools; What About Research of Douglas County?

Posted under Private Schools & Research & School Board & School Choice & Suburban Schools & Urban Schools

For those in the know, this report is hardly a jaw-dropping, breathtaking surprise. But it’s good to see the updated information compiled in one place. Thanks to Greg Forster and the Foundation for Educational Choice, we now have the newly-released report A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence on School Vouchers, which brings together the 27 studies “using the best available scientific methods” to show:

that vouchers improve outcomes for both participants and public schools.

Let’s break that down a little bit. Of 10 empirical studies measuring the effects U.S. voucher programs (e.g., Milwaukee, Cleveland, D.C., Florida) have on the learning of student participants:

  • 60 percent found all groups of students benefit
  • 30 percent found some groups of students benefit
  • 10 percent found no measurable impact either way
  • 0 (ZERO) percent found negative impacts on students

Of 19 empirical studies measuring the competitive effects from U.S. voucher programs:

  • 95 percent found public schools improved as a result of competition
  • 5 percent (one study on D.C., the only program “designed to shield public schools from the impact of competition”) found “no visible impact” on public schools

These results are almost as unanimous as the finding that school voucher programs increase parental satisfaction! What’s not to like?

Writing on Jay Greene’s blog, author Greg Forster expounds more on the results — including some visuals that lay out the findings as presented above. My suggestion for the next place to study? Douglas County, here in our own Front Range backyard, which launched a local pilot voucher program just last week!

Specifically, are there aspects of Douglas County’s program that would tend to produce better or less noticeable results than these other programs? For the academic researchers out there, it sure looks like an interesting course to pursue (if the money follows). Given the body of work we’ve seen, one would anticipate a random-assignment study of the pilot voucher program to yield some academically favorable results.


4 Responses to “Studies Show Vouchers Help Kids, Schools; What About Research of Douglas County?”

  1. Ed is Watching » Many Interesting Angles to Watch as Douglas County Voucher Pilot Rolls Out on 04 Apr 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    [...] on students? Of course, the answer to this question well may take the longest to discern. But as I pointed out before, studying the program’s unique features should yield some valuable [...]

  2. FOX 31 Fair and Balanced on Education? We Report, You Decide Part Two | Education Policy Center on 06 May 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    [...] against private school choice have dwindled. High-quality research repeatedly and consistently shows the effectiveness of vouchers and tax credits. Many new programs like Indiana’s are coming to existence in 2011, “A Year of Growth [...]

  3. Ed is Watching » Another “Win-Win” Education Idea: Texas Takes a Look at Taxpayer Savings Grants on 17 May 2011 at 10:59 am #

    [...] (who expect to save about $2 billion over the next two years). “Win-win”: say, where did I see that phrase recently? It can refer to a number of different pro-freedom education policy reforms. In fact, Texas’ [...]

  4. Ed is Watching » Latest Research Builds Winning Record for School Choice: Still Waiting for DougCo on 17 Apr 2013 at 10:38 am #

    [...] couple years ago I highlighted the latest version of A Win-Win Solution, but the overall record of vouchers and tax credits looks [...]

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