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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Evidence on Vouchers

Christina Samuels writes at Education Week about studies of voucher programs in Indiana and Louisiana. Voucher students showed no academic gains in their early years of enrollment, and sine lost ground. MORE DETAIL HERE.
The Indiana study tracked a selection of students in grades 3-8 who switched from public to private schools using Indiana's Choice Scholarship Program, the country's largest voucher program. ...
[S]pecial education students in the study performed worse than students in the study as a group; they saw academic achievement losses in English/language-arts as well as in math.
The Indiana voucher program requires that parents of children with disabilities and the private school agree on a "Choice Scholarship Education Plan" that has some similarities to the individualized education program that is required under the IDEA. However, IEPs are much more comprehensive and are intended to meet the student's legal right to a free, appropriate public education.

In the Louisiana research, researchers found that students who participated in the Louisiana Scholarship Program had no statistically significant gains in math or English/language arts after participating in the program for three years... 
  • About 13 percent of the voucher applicant pool was students was disabilities, roughly equal to the population of students with disabilities in Louisiana as a whole;
  • In the second year of participation in the voucher program, students with disabilities were nearly 50 percent more likely than students who did not get a voucher to lose their disability identification;
  • The chance of a voucher student being newly identified as having a disability was slightly lower than the control group rate.