Research

Recent Research Raises Flags on Vouchers and School Choice

Feb 27, 2017

A DIFFICULT ‘CHOICE’: Citing recent research, a New York Times post blasted the effects of vouchers on student achievement as “the worst in the history of the field...not just compared with other voucher studies, but in the history of American education research.” The report comes at a time when the Trump administration seems unwavering in its support of school vouchers.

The author reviewed research on voucher programs in Louisiana, Ohio and Indiana—states with active school choice models.

One report, published in late 2015, showed that students moving onto voucher programs in Indiana had no improvements in reading and dropped significantly in math. Another study on Louisiana, published last year, found that students declined in both math and reading scores—some drastically, moving from the 50th percentile to the 26th in a single year. In June 2016, a conservative think tank found students on vouchers in Ohio fared worse in math compared to their peers in traditional public schools.

One of the unexpected effects resulting from voucher expansions, noted in the report, revealed that many private schools refused to accept voucher students, and those that did were usually of poor quality and rapidly losing revenue. “The free market often does a terrible job of providing basic services to the poor—see, for instance, the lack of grocery stores and banks in many low-income neighborhoods. This may also hold for education,” reads the post.

Research

Recent Research Raises Flags on Vouchers and School Choice

Feb 27, 2017

A DIFFICULT ‘CHOICE’: Citing recent research, a New York Times post blasted the effects of vouchers on student achievement as “the worst in the history of the field...not just compared with other voucher studies, but in the history of American education research.” The report comes at a time when the Trump administration seems unwavering in its support of school vouchers.

The author reviewed research on voucher programs in Louisiana, Ohio and Indiana—states with active school choice models.

One report, published in late 2015, showed that students moving onto voucher programs in Indiana had no improvements in reading and dropped significantly in math. Another study on Louisiana, published last year, found that students declined in both math and reading scores—some drastically, moving from the 50th percentile to the 26th in a single year. In June 2016, a conservative think tank found students on vouchers in Ohio fared worse in math compared to their peers in traditional public schools.

One of the unexpected effects resulting from voucher expansions, noted in the report, revealed that many private schools refused to accept voucher students, and those that did were usually of poor quality and rapidly losing revenue. “The free market often does a terrible job of providing basic services to the poor—see, for instance, the lack of grocery stores and banks in many low-income neighborhoods. This may also hold for education,” reads the post.

Next In Research

Next in Research

STAY UP TO DATE ON EDTECH
News, research, and opportunities - sent weekly.
STAY UP TO DATE ON EDTECH
News, research, and opportunities - sent weekly.