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Page history last edited by Todd M Thomas 14 years, 8 months ago

Effects of voucher programs on achievement

by Carlos Xabel Lastra-Anadon


Both on the effect on the achievement of participants and the effects on the achievement throughout public school systems, the results in the United States are so far not conclusive. In the studies that have been conducted the effects on students are only clearly positive in some cases (e.g., African American population in Washington DC, Dayton and NYC and certain subjects, e.g., maths in Washington DC), while they are neutral in others (Florida, Cleveland, Milwaukee). Evidence of effects on improving the public schools system is so far limited only to the cases of Florida and Milwaukee and, although it is in both cases positive, more research is needed to ensure the transferability of the results to other environments and enable the isolation of the impact of specific design principles.

Click here for the complete paper




Effecs of voucher programs beyond achievement

by Todd M. Thomas


The implementation of voucher programs in select areas across America has resulted in several important effects beyond academic achievement of the involved students.  When given a choice of where to educate one's child, a parent then plays not only an important role in creating market competition, working to strengthen both public and private institutions and saving the state money due to the low cost of voucher schools, but the parent takes on greater feelings of satisfaction.  This satisfaction could be a result of simply having a choice, but studies show that the voucher schools tend to offer a safer, more intimate climate.  The students also appear to benefit from the choice, gaining civic involvement and values.


Click for complete paper




Annotated bibliography on Achievement


effects on student achievement

“Positive studies”- Washington DC Program, Studies on privately funded programs (DC, Dayton and New York City)



1) Peterson and Howell find a positive impact of privately funded programs for African Americans in both reading and maths

http://www.jstor.org/stable/3325631 (needs subscription)



2) Wolf’s encouraging evaluation of the DC program after 3 years



“Negative studies”- Florida, Cleveland and Milwaukee

1) Figlio’s report on Florida’s program




2) Belfield on Cleveland’s program




3)  Wolf and his collaborators preliminary report on the Milwaukee program, which will be finalized when the data of 2010-11 is available





1) 4 studies on the effects on failing public schools from the threat of children moving to the private sector through a voucher program in Florida

Greene and Winters




West and Peterson


Rouse, Hannaway, Goldhaber and Figlio




2) Milwaukee effects evaluated as part of Wolf's longitudinal evaluation







1) Results of Bogota voucher program which requires students to maintain high standards of achievement to benefit from vouchers



2) Video of Jay Greene on special education vouchers:




3) Video of Terry Moe and Paul Peterson on the controversy surrounding the DC voucher program





Additional Data


The Blog of Jay P. Green.  Link to a great list of resources on voucher reform.





Interview by Todd Thomas with Springfield Ohio Superintedant

Estrop, David.  Interview 11/18/2009



Blog Entry by Jay Greene where he discusses data and ideologies of voucher programs, against Sol Stern's views.

Greene, Jay P “Vouchers, Evidence and Ideology” June 2008



Todd Thomas conducted this email interview.

Greene, Jay P. Interview 11/17/2009

A U.S. General Accounting Office report on findings from Cleveland and Milwaukee's voucher programs.


GAO, “Publicly Funded Programs in Cleveland and Milwaukee”, August 2001


Harvard's Caroline Hoxby writes about competition and voucher programs.


Hoxby, Caroline "School Choice and School Competition: Evidence from the United 

        States”, working paper, Harvard University, 2004


Sol Stern fights with the notion that school choice creates improved schools through a market-like reaction.


Stern, Sol  “School Choice Isn’t Enough”. 2008



A special article focusing on voucher-producing civil values in students.


Wolf, Patrick.  “Civics Exam: Schools of Choice Boost Civic Values.  Education Next,      

       2009. http://educationnext.org/civics-exam/


Patrick Wolf looks at the DC voucher program and all related data.

Wolf, Patrick. “Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Impacts After Three Years” US Dept. of Education, March 2009.


Patrick Wolf presents vouchers from a perpective of consumer options.


Wolf, Patrick. School Voucher Programs: “What the Research Says About Parental

      School Choice” Red Orbit, 2008.


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