Friday, June 22, 2007

Voucher Students Show Few Gains in First Year

WaPo reported Students in the D.C. school voucher program, the first federal initiative to spend taxpayer dollars on private school tuition, generally performed no better on reading and math tests after one year in the program than their peers in public schools, the U.S. Education Department said yesterday.
They said it indicated a significant positive impact on parental perceptions of school satisfaction and safety. Students who were offered a scholarship were also more likely to attend a school with a music program and a computer lab than students not offered a scholarship.. They said The report findings are consistent with other studies conducted on school choice programs across the nation, which typically find more than one year is needed to raise student achievement..
The department's report, which researchers said is an early snapshot, found only a few exceptions to the conclusion that the program has not yet had a significant impact on achievement:
Maybe it takes a little while to undo all of the bad training they got in public school and teach them the basics.
Students who moved from higher-performing public schools to private schools and those who scored well on tests before entering the program performed better in math than their peers who stayed in public school.
That is not what the headline says.

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