"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, June 22, 2007

New School Voucher Study Shows No Voucher Advantage

Despite the fact that a new ED study on vouchers in D.C .was directed by the Walmart-funded Professor and 21st Century Chair in School Choice of an academic department devoted to "choice" advocacy, which was bought and built by Sam Walton and headed by Jay P. Greene (of Manhattan Institute fame);

and despite the fact that 20% of the students enrolled in the program left within the first year (and no researcher asked why);

and despite the fact that student academic performance was no better in the private voucher schools;

and despite the fact that there was students felt no more satisfied or safe than did public school students;

and despite the fact that there was no evidence found that students were, in fact, safer in terms of "actual school experiences with dangerous activities";

despite all of this, Sam Dillon chooses a headline, "Voucher Use in Washington Wins Praise by Parents," that points to the only positive finding that voucher advocates like Spellings and her researchers could dredge up.

For a more balanced account, see Paley's "Voucher Students See Few Gains in First Year" in WaPo.

Congressman Miller, I think, sums it up: "This report offers even more proof that private school vouchers won't improve student achievement and are nothing more than a tired political gimmick."

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