This finding’s been replicated more often than Picard’s Earl Grey.
(Guest post by Greg Forster)
Still clearing the backlog: I haven’t had a chance yet to tout this new empirical study of Ohio’s EdChoice voucher program, by my old colleague Matt Carr, finding that – guess what, you’ll never believe this – vouchers improve outcomes at public schools!
Building on a large body of previous studies, this makes it nineteen (19) high-quality empirical studies finding school choice improves public schools and zero (0) studies finding it harms public schools.
Interestingly, Carr finds the positive impact is concentrated among the highest and lowest performing students. Since EdChoice is a failing schools voucher, you might expect schools to respond by improving service to those “bubble” students who are near the state proficiency cutoff. However, Carr finds the opposite.
Matt hypothesizes – plausibly enough – that schools are responding by improving services to the students who are most likely to use the voucher to leave. Low-performing students have the most obvious motivation to seek better services, while high-performing students are the most likely to have actively involved parents.
I do have one quibble with the study. Matt writes that his study “provides an analysis of a voucher program that has not yet been rigorously studied for its competitive effects on traditional public schools.”
Gotta love the epic face palm.