(Guest post by Greg Forster)
David Figlio’s study (with Cassandra Hart) on how the Florida Tax-Credit Scholarship program impacts public schools is finally out. Guess what? His detailed statistical analysis finds that competition from school choice improves public schools. (Here’s some local news coverage.)
But that was no surprise to anyone who’s been following the research. Early last year I counted up the studies and here’s what I got:
Removing the double-count for studies that had findings in multiple locations, that made it 16 studies finding school choice improves public schools to zero finding they hurt public schools. (The one null finding was in DC, where the program pays enormous cash bribes to the public system – apparently on the princple that children are the chattel property of the government school system – in order to deliberately neutralize its effect on public schools.)
After that, Jay came out with yet another study finding that Milwaukee vouchers have improved public schools. That brought it up to 17-0.
Now Figlio and Hart in Florida, adding the first study that looks at tax-credit scholarships rather than vouchers, have made it 18-0.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the Florida tax-credit program also dramatically improves education for the students who are using it.
As always, critics are trying to make hay out of the fact that in the Figlio/Hart study, a tiny, population-limited, regulation-cramped choice program produces only moderate-sized benefits. Well, geniuses, if the benefits of a tiny, population-limited, regulation-cramped program are too small for you, can you think of any way you might make the program’s impact bigger?