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  • Vouchers Do Not Harm Public Schools

    Opponents of school choice worry that public schools will suffer when competition is introduced.  They cite the diversion of money away from public schools and the “creaming” of the best students into private schools, leaving the neediest children even worse off than before.  But how realistic is this scenario?

    A new report from the National Center for Policy Analysis marshals powerful evidence that school voucher programs do not hurt students who remain in public schools, and they may even help.

    From 1998 to 2008, the Edgewood Voucher Program (EVP) offered private school tuition support to all families in the Edgewood school district, which is located in a low-income section of San Antonio, Texas.  Since EVP was privately funded, no government money was diverted from public schools.  However, large numbers of students did leave the public schools for private ones.  EVP serves as a case study, therefore, on whether public school students suffer when some of their peers transfer away.

    The answer is a firm “no.”  Test scores and graduation rates went up in the Edgewood school district during the course of EVP.  Whether these gains were directly caused by EVP is difficult to ascertain, since vouchers were open to all comers rather than subject to a randomized lottery that would have provided the “gold standard” experiment.

    Nonetheless, the empirical debate is over whether EVP’s effect on public schools was zero or positive.  When the progress of Edgewood public schools is compared to similar districts that had no voucher program, the data do not plausibly support any negative effect of EVP.

    With school choice increasingly looking like a “no lose” proposition for private and public school students alike, will the Obama administration take notice?

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Vouchers Do Not Harm Public Schools

    1. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 4.3.2010 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    2. Paul Hargraves` says:

      The largest contributor to the Democrat Party is the Teachers Union. Obama who sends his children to Sidwell Friends in Washington DC singlehandedly killed the voucher program at that school. Any suggestion that Obama would support vouchers is fantasy.

      I only want the same opportunity for poor children that Hillary Clinton, Al Gore & Barack Obama give their children. (Note they are all Democrats and all are against Vouchers)


      Paul Hargraves

    3. Horizon3 says:

      Granted, Vouchers do not actually hurt public schools, But it sure puts a dent in the Progressive indoctrination agenda.

      The number one priority for a new generation of patriots in Congress will be to outlaw unions in government, that means at all levels, from the smallest school district to the US Postal Service.

      The other desired changes will be almost impossible, without this law.

    4. Billie says:

      Why should the obama administraion take notice? They haven't yet! Any good idea is totally ignored by government or fought needlessly by the people it's worked for.

      Vouchers don't harm public schools! GOVERNMENT AND THEIR UNIONS DO!


    5. John Carlson says:

      The voucher system can work long term, only, if the Fed stays out of dictating curriculum.

    6. Drew Page, IL says:

      The critics of school voucher proposal are the same people who want to continue throwing money at broken system. Over the past 10 years the U.S. has spent billions upon billions on public schools and everyone still seems to be complaining about the quality of our educational system. Once again, what is the term used to described doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

      The critics complain that such a voucher system would skim the cream of the crop from public to private schools. Not surprisingly, they feel it is a fairer approach to "spread the misery" keep kids who work harder and value an education mixed in with those who couldn't care less and those who defy teachers to teach them something.

    7. Tim AZ says:

      Vouchers don't harm public schools. Vouchers do however allow too many kids to evade the govt. run school curriculum that instills obedience to government while negating the influence of the parents values upon their children. Impeding liberal cleansing of juvenile minds is totally unacceptable.

    8. Bruno Behrend says:

      While no supporter of education reform should be surprised by these findings, we should never allow ourselves to cave into the "pro-government schools" mindset.

      A well-crafted and fully-funded scholarship would most certainly drain money from the government schools, and we, as intellectually honest conservatives should never shirk our responsibility to tell people what an expensive failure government schools have been.

      In the suburbs they are too expensive, and any success is connected to socio-economic status, not their bloated budgets. In the cities, government schools are a social and economic disaster.

      Political support for the "Government-Education Complex" that has been running (and ruining) our education system needs to be aggressively challenged and undermined.

      This is becoming increasingly easy to do, given that this "complex," with Teachers Unions at their foundation, have bankrupted entire states while failing at their mission. There are 4 words that will create an effective foundation for EVERY political discussion around school reform.

      Fund Children, not Bureaucracies and Unions. Once that premise is agreed to (and no one except a financially interested member of the Complex can disagree with it), you are on the path to winning the debate with anyone who will engage in it.

      We've attempted to placate the obstacle to improvement for decades. How about we just remove the obstacle.

    9. Bill Sr. Jacksonvill says:


      We are not talking a debatable issue here. The die has been cast in Washington and with the teachers union. They have made the decision and stacked enough progressive liberals in all areas of education, government and the courts to go with their allies in the MSM that vouchers on the federal level have the same chance as term limits for Congress. It ain't going to happen. The president has already declared an end to the Bush supported and very successful Washington D.C. voucher program. Until there is a major power shift in Washington with constitutionist seated in the Supreme Court debate on this topic is like smoke in the wind.

    10. Oregon says:

      The teachers feel they know more than any parent does. Yet they have no real world experience with what they are teaching. with out any real world experience they have been led to the left not the American way. They live in a world out of touch with the rest of America.

    11. Bruno Behrend says:

      Bill Sr.

      The Federal Government is not the answer, nor the problem regarding school choice. This is primarily as state issue, and the first state that goes to a 100% fully-funded scholarship where all the money follows the child will be the first state to show dramatic educational improvement with lower costs.

      The power shift that is needed is in the state legislatures, and the strategy should be to point out that a) Teachers Unions are the sole obstacle to reform, 2) their blockage of proven reforms (choice and charters) constitutes a morally illegitimate campaign against the poor and disadvantaged, and 3) you can fund an education bureaucracy and jobs program for adults or you can fund a child's education. You can't do both.

      We are so close to winning this that we should all have goosebumps. De-legitimize the Unions, and the entire political juggernaut collapses.

      You can fund a child's a needs, or teacher union greed. Which do you support?

    12. MadJayhawk says:

      Is there a way around public funding of education in order to control the public education bureaucratic morass and the unions? Would the establishment of a separate entity, separate from government, be able to end the strangehold the educational bureaucrats and unions have on our children's educational future?

    13. NJ says:

      The premise is wrong. The Federal Department of Education is not constitutional. I hope competition destroys the public (i.e.., government) schools. But it won't happen because we are not a free country. Liberty is a bumper sticker now. Statism replaced our Old Republic

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