Benjamin Erwin School vouchers are one of three approaches to private school choice. Traditional vouchers are state-funded scholarships that pay for students to attend private school rather than public school. Private schools must meet minimum standards established by legislatures in order to accept voucher recipients. Legislatures also set parameters for student eligibility that typically target subgroups of students.
Although vouchers lack broad public support, parents in low-income inner cities are more likely to favor alternatives to traditional public education, and this interest has stimulated small pilot programs in a few urban school districts.
Yet the media tend to report results from these analyses without necessary caveats and alternative views. Do school vouchers improve student performance? Although programs in many cities were designed to be like randomized-trial medical experiments—with high validity and reliability—common problems in implementation may have compromised validity and produced misleading results.
Moreover, the results are marked by broad inconsistencies across grades, academic subjects, and racial groups. Recent highly publicized research involving Florida schools also highlights the difficulty in attributing test score gains to vouchers, since many of these programs involve not only vouchers but also school grading systems and others variables at the same time.
The same researchers who found large effects from earlier voucher programs also found large voucher effects in Florida. But a closer look reveals that most of the gains could have been caused by the school grading system, not vouchers.
Identifying the effects of programs is a challenging task, especially for vouchers. As the evidence slowly comes in, a balanced analysis suggests that voucher effects may exist, but they are significantly smaller than voucher proponents would have the public and the media believe.
See more work by Martin Carnoy Search for:May 12, · It's the same story in Evansville (16 percent in public schools vs.
percent in voucher schools) and Gary ( percent vs.
percent) and, in fact, most other school districts across the . Careful statistical analysis of the effects of vouchers on the traditional public schools in that country provided no evidence of they exerted a clear positive effect on the country’s traditional public schools.
In the school year, four of the 18 voucher schools were shut down because of fraud, mismanagement, or negligence. Nine Milwaukee voucher schools have no accreditation, were not seeking accreditation, and administered no standardized tests, according to a recent state audit.
School vouchers are among the various “school choice” options available to families, some of whom do not want to send their children to traditional public schools. Other school choice programs include charter schools and virtual schools. Despite controversial and mixed results, school voucher programs have ballooned in recent years.
In many states, parents can use government-funded vouchers to pay tuition at participating private schools, including religious schools. In some cases, vouchers may be used to cover home-schooling expenses.
School vouchers have been in the limelight for a decade. The basic argument is that giving parents public funds to send their children to private schools will stimulate innovation and competition among schools.
Although vouchers lack broad public support, parents in low-income inner cities are more.