Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Perhaps Ravitch was thinking about Milwaukee's first-in-the-nation voucher program – ah, but then she'd have a problem, as numerous studies show it works.  Here's the Center for Education Reform on the latest one:


SCHOOL CHOICE WORKS. It should come as no surprise but the proof is in the data. The latest five-year study of Milwaukee's voucher program, conducted by the University of Arkansas, finds that students with vouchers were four to seven percentage points more likely to enroll in a four-year college. Even more significant, these students were more likely than their public school counterparts to persist through the first year of college. "Since educational attainment is linked to positive life outcomes such as higher lifetime earnings and lower rates of incarceration, this is a very encouraging result of the program," noted John Witte, professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The study also finds that voucher students out-performed their public school peers on standardized reading tests and were about the same on math exams. But, the real kicker is this: The Milwaukee school district spends more than $14,000 per student, while a voucher provides only $6,422. Besides running a tighter ship academically, schools that take vouchers in Milwaukee also appear to offer the intangibles – a more disciplined yet nurturing environment that teaches respect and discipline to persevere — qualities that lead to success at college and on the job.

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