Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Look at the Evidence

by Ken Houghton

Amazingly, school vouchers work as a transfer mechanism for money, but don't improve education.
To make it local-ish (for Tom, at least):
To support his idea, Mr. [Sol] Stern pointed to Milwaukee’s experiment with school vouchers.

"Milwaukee’s public schools still suffer from low achievement and miserable graduation rates, with test scores flattening in recent years," Mr. Stern wrote. "Violence and disorder throughout the system are as serious as ever. Most voucher students are still benefiting, true; but no 'Milwaukee Miracle,' no transformation of the public schools, has taken place."

and this is not exactly coming from one of the Milwaukee experiment's detractors:
[Stern's] 2003 book, “Breaking Free: Public School Lessons and the Imperative of School Choice,” relied on his own trips to Milwaukee to measure the impact of the voucher system on public schools there. In the book, he found much to praise about vouchers, saying they would give needed competition to the failing schools. But now he says more recent evidence has fallen short.

The opposition fails Economics 101:
In his online opposition, Mr. [Jay P.] Greene [like Stern, a Fellow at the Manhattan Institute] said he was particularly bothered because the essay was being widely interpreted as setting up a choice between vouchers and curriculum changes.

"There’s no reason you can’t have both — just like you like brownies and ice cream," Mr. Greene said. "You shouldn’t be made to choose."

When you reallocate funds from the school system to the vouchers, you limit the monies available for curriculum changes.

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The link is broken
The link in the post works for me, maybe try this.
Wait, so you divert money from public schools to private schools and the public schools don't get better? Who could have predicted that?
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