Showing evidence that the neocons propaganda team is demonstrating a further breakdown of verisimilitude during this uncommonly disgraceful denouement, John Tierney recently let fly in the Times with one of his most disgusting Bush League education oops-ed yet. The message: vouchers are working, and they are good for public education.
Lie # 1: Vouchers are working.
Tierney's go-to guy for research on vouchers is Joseph Viteritti, who never saw a voucher program he could complain about. Viteritti, sticking to the neocon strategy, simply refutes the truth and sticks with it:
"All the good research, including the voucher opponents' work, shows that kids who accept vouchers are doing at least as well as their public school peers," says Joseph Viteritti of Hunter College. "That's remarkable, considering how much less money is being spent on the voucher students."One must guess that "good research" meets the essential criteria of substantiating the pre-conceived conclusions of voucher proponents, much like the bogus manipulations of Harvard's Paul Petersen's "research" showing big gains by voucher students was, indeed. With Petersen claim for superior results debunked, Viteritti and Tierney are left the claim that voucher student test results are at least as good, then, which may be a less dramatic lie--but still a lie.
There are, indeed, rigorous research studies showing that voucher school students and other private school students score lower on standardized tests than public school students. Here are a few assembled by NSBA:
Cleveland Study: Evidence Undercuts Voucher Claims 12/23/2003 [6kb]
NSBA reviews a 2003 evaluation of the Cleveland voucher program
NSBA Reviews Study of Florida's McKay Voucher Program (2003) 6/17/2003 [12545kb]
NSBA looks at the findings of a 2003 study on Florida's McKay Voucher Program.
|New study on Cleveland voucher program from CUNY (January 2006) |
Researcher Clive Belfield examines the Cleveland voucher program in this 31-page study.
. . . voucher programs show very modest gains in achievement for recipients; and studies highlight the many potential biases when identifying the treatment impacts of vouchers. Turning to the Cleveland program, we find a number of practical similarities between the CSTP and other voucher programs in terms of demand and supply. Overall, we find no academic advantages for voucher users; in fact, users appear to perform slightly worse in math. These results do not vary according to: adjustments for prior ability; intention-to-treat versus treatment effects; and dosage differences. Contrary to claims for other voucher programs, the CSTP is not differentially effective for African American students.
|New study reveals public schools outperform private schools on national math exam (January 2006) |
University of Illinois researchers find that after controlling for socio-economic differences, public schools outperform private schools. The researchers examined results from the 2003 NAEP Math for the study.
|Survey: No advantage in voucher schools (Plain Dealer, 11-19-05) |
New study mirrors findings of previous evaluation.
|Study: No Academic Gains From Vouchers for Black Students (Education Week, April 9) |
A new study of a privately funded voucher program in New York City counters the claims by another researcher about large academic gains for voucher students. The original study did not include scores for a substantial number of students in the program, according to the new review. This article also contains links to each study.
Lie # 2: Vouchers are good for public education. Response Coming Soon . . stand by