Friday, March 06, 2009

Study Proves Vouchers Improve Public Education

Thanks to Political Vindication Blog

Life Site News has the details…

An in-depth and wide-ranging study by Dr. Greg Forster, Ph.D., of the Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, has concluded that school voucher programs in the US improve academic achievement in public schools.

The school voucher program allows parents to use public funds to send their children to the school of their choice, public or private, and has been praised by many as among the most prominent and successful reforms in the education field.

According to the Friedman Foundation, 160,000 students in the US currently are being served by one of 24 school choice programs in 14 states and the District of Columbia.

The study, titled “A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence on How Vouchers Affect Public Schools,” analyzed “all available empirical studies on how vouchers affect academic performance in public schools.”

It found that 16 of 17 empirical studies show that vouchers actually improve public schools, while the one remaining study found that vouchers had no visible impact on public schools. Significantly, that one study, in Washington DC, was also the only study conducted on a voucher program that intentionally protects public schools from the impact of competition.

The study cites research in states including Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, Texas, Maine and Vermont, that compared schools where a majority of students were eligible for vouchers to those where fewer students were eligible. It found that schools that were more exposed to vouchers reported higher gains in math, science and language scores.

The study concludes that, “Even if vouchers did not improve public schools, there would still be other reasons to implement them. They provide a better education to those who use them, they provide better services for disabled students, they put students into schools that are more racially integrated, they improve students’ civic values, they save the public money, and so forth.”

“The benefits of competition in education are clearly established by the evidence. The only remaining question is whether the evidence will be permitted to shape public debate on the question of vouchers.”


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