Monday, April 6, 2009

Vouchers Students Testing Better Than Others

The US Education Department released a study yesterday, giving voucher proponents a stronger leg to stand on (if they needed one). It found that DC District students who were given a voucher to attend a private school, they outperformed public students on reading tests. Those scores put them about 4 months ahead of the public school students.

The Washington Post
lays out the study findings and how certain elected officials feel about the program. While the article said Obama does not intend to pull students out of the program, but he does not support the continuation.

Since it began, the voucher program has awarded scholarships to more than 3,000 students from low-income families, granting up to $7,500 a year for tuition and other fees at participating schools. This school year, about 1,715 students are participating.

The Bush administration, and many Republicans, have championed the program as a "lifeline" for students in struggling schools.

Supporters hailed the congressionally mandated study as proof the program works. "With concrete evidence in hand that this program is a success, we look forward to reauthorizing it as quickly as possible," Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (Calif.), the top Republican on the House education committee, said in a statement.

The study, conducted by the Education Department's research arm, the Institute of Education Sciences, compared the performance and attitudes of students with scholarships with those of peers who were eligible but weren't chosen in a lottery. Parents of students in the program were more satisfied with their children's new schools and considered the schools safer, the report found. Students showed no difference in their level of satisfaction.

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