“A rising tide lifts all boats.”
(Guest post by Greg Forster)
I haven’t had a chance to read the details yet, but from the executive summary of the new results released today by the School Choice Demonstration Project, it looks like vouchers have done a good job of improving education for all students in the city of Milwaukee.
What? That’s not the way you heard it?
Of course not. Because the new result, taken in isolation from other information, simply says that after two years, the voucher students are making learning improvements about the same as public school students. The scores for the voucher students are higher, but the difference is not statistically certain.
However, let’s plug that into the larger universe of information. We know – from the very same research project – that vouchers are improving education in Milwaukee public schools. The positive incentives of competition and the improved matching of student needs to school strengths are causing public schools to deliver a better education.
So if the voucher students and the public school students are doing about the same, and vouchers are improving results for public school students, it follows that vouchers are improving results for everybody.
That, of course, is the consistent finding of a large body of research. The overwhelming research consensus is that vouchers improve public schools.
Also, let’s not forget that in several previous longitudinal studies, the results from the first one or two years were similar – the voucher students ahead, but the difference not statistically certain – and in those cases, in later years the difference always became statistically certain. It just took the accumulation of more data to reach the high bar of statistical certainty.
So here’s a toast to the great news that vouchers in Milwaukee are making everybody better off!