(Guest post by Greg Forster)
OCPA has published a new policy brief by yours truly, summarizing the research on school choice. For example, on academic effects:
Academic effects may be the most important empirical question we ask about school choice. At one time, it was by far the most hotly debated, whereas today it is much less frequently mentioned by opponents of choice. Having been in the school choice movement since 2002, I can remember when we constantly heard claims that “there’s no evidence school choice actually helps kids learn” or “the research on outcomes is mixed.” Such claims were a primary focus in the 2005 book Education Myths, which I co-wrote. We almost never hear that kind of thing now, because the research on academic outcomes is so consistently positive.
Readers of JPGB will recognize the concern in this paragraph:
Most of these studies examine test scores, although a handful look at other metrics such as high-school graduation rates and college attendance rates. Recent research has called into question the value of test scores as a measurement of academic outcomes. This research finds little or no connection between improvements in K-12 test scores and improvements in long-term life outcomes, in contrast to high-school graduation and college enrollment (which do seem to be more strongly associated with long-term life outcomes). This limitation is worth keeping in mind.
The brief also looks at the research on fiscal effects and civic concerns (segregation and good citizenship).
You may recall there was some, er, confusion recently in Oklahoma when some local academics published a summary of the research on choice that was, er, less than fully accurate.
Let me know what you think!