School Choice Results Trend Positive in New Study

School choice programs empower parents to choose the schools their children attend―public or private―by allowing parents to direct a portion of public education funding for their child through tax credits, scholarships, vouchers, and education savings accounts. School choice programs are among the most prominent and successful reforms in education today.

The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice has released a new report examining 23 empirical studies of school choice programs. The report is authored by scholars at the University of Arkansas, Harvard University, the Federal Reserve Bank, Stanford University, and Cornell University.

According to the study, “[o]pponents frequently claim school choice does not benefit participants, hurts public schools, costs taxpayers, facilitates segregation, and even undermines democracy. However, the empirical evidence consistently shows that choice improves academic outcomes for participants and public schools, saves taxpayer money, moves students into more integrated classrooms, and strengthens the shared civic values and practices essential to American democracy.”

More than 250,000 students attend private schools through 41 school choice programs in 22 states and Washington, D.C. Expanding educational options through widely accessible school choice programs for all children can deliver the kind of dramatic improvement American schools desperately need to meet the diverse needs and aptitudes of all students. Putting parents back in charge is the way to revolutionize education today.

Kathryn Hickok is Publications Director and Director of the Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland program at Cascade Policy Institute.

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Posted by at 08:19 | Posted in Education | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    Technology is opening up educational options and it is exciting. There is still a need for bricks and mortar public schools or some variant thereof, but it is a lessening need. Bricks and mortar public schools still fulfill a community role of cementing a feel of being part of a neighborhood, and they also give vitality of social and cultural networking for children. It’s surely evolving but education (k-12) is searching for a new medium where technology provides educational alternatives to the traditional bricks and mortar public education.

    In some ways, I see one of the best solutions is that provided by city owned community centers where a robust menu of private (individual and group) lessons are provided. The community center continues to help cement the neighborhood but frees parents and children to choose their owned desired path to education. Isn’t this a loose form of what Community College could be, and is almost like? Going the route of alternative school/education outlets requires a much higher degree of self determination than that woefully taken away by current traditional bricks and mortar public education. This calls out the need for a strong safety net potentially provided by such institutions as educational service districts, to help bolster the self determination of parent and child.

    Against this back drop of exciting alternatives, we see many forces working our legislature to keep parents and children captive to the traditional bricks and mortar public education system. Hopefully, technology can “flower” right through these rigid concrete fortifications. Maybe traditional bricks and mortars might be headed towards the same tensions introduced to the U.S postal service by the invention of e-mail and e-commerce.

    • DavidAppell

      MOOC’s are a joke. Studends need professors who will inspire them, not a lifeless screen that they give up on after the first lesson.

      Of course, I get it — wingers like them because it might lower their taxes by $10 a quarter. But you will end up with uneducated, uninspired students, in a world where America is already falling behind developed countries.

      But hey, if it saves Bob Clark a dollar or two, it’s got to be worthwhile, right?

      • .

        Meanwhile another classy call issue for the big Appell to emote on.

        • ardbeg

          ok, you gave a youtube address that leads nowhere…….your an idiot!

          • .

            Moot me in St Louie bunky!

          • ardbeg

            O.k.,you really are a fool. What the heck does that even mean? why are you on this blog? You sound like Joel Cole (aka joelinpdx) half in and half out of the closet. Move on.

          • .

            Did you pay attention to it through, *ardbeg?

            What did you conclude or are you so obsessed with being a numb nut part of what’s left of US, huh!

          • ardbeg

            Dude, your communications skills suck! What point are you trying to make? Speak American!

      • Bob Clark

        Actually, I find Community Centers do a very good job of instructing in arts and music. In fact, many of the instructors are actually experienced in the application of their trade, professional musicians actually having to produce a quality product for sale (be it music or art). Practicing artisans and musicians who teach at Community Centers have more experience than most of the classroom instructors in their trades.
        Then too some of the Community Center instructors have teaching certificates, and are supplementing their income teaching at the Community Centers.
        Kind of interesting question: If Community Centers are so dismal then why not close them down and save the City some money in administrative costs, or at least selling the real estate. Truth be told, Community Centers serve a very useful educational purpose sought by many Portland parents and children.

  • JacklordGod

    If school choice is such a bad idea, how come Obamas kids aren’t in public school?

    Want to tie a liberal in a knot?

    Step one – Realize the liberal can never admit he, or any government policy he supports is wrong.

    Step two – Point out that liberals somehow believe teen girls can make life and death decisions about pregnancy. They can go get an abortion with a hop skip and a jump.

    Step three, ask if it is true that a girl is competent to decide if their baby lives or dies, then how is a parent incompetent to decide where their child actually goes to school?

    Step four – Watch for the mouth to foam up and a hurl of insults and four letter words directed at you.

    • ardbeg

      “Point out that liberals somehow believe teen girls can make life and death decisions about pregnancy”-your right rupert! the only one qualified to make a decision about a pregnant teenager is an old white guy like you.

      • .

        David Appell, 3H and ardbeg – suffered as little children and continue as so.

    • 3H

      Want to untie the knot?

      Simply point out that abortion and school choice are two different issues, and that false equivalency is a logical fallacy. See, no frothing; at least on the part of liberals. Now, lets see who does the frothing 😉

    • DavidAppell

      Obama’s children have threats, and thus needs, that other children do not.

      • Steve Buckstein

        Do you think that many other Black children in DC aren’t threatened by violence in their own neighborhoods? Since he won’t grant them Secret Service protection, you’d think the least he could do would be let them take the dollars going to their local public schools and choose safer ones, like the one he choose for his family.

        • DavidAppell

          Their theat is generic, and not at all like the threats faced by the children of a President, who could easily be the special target of various wack jobs.

          • Steve Buckstein

            Oh, so “generic” threats don’t warrant a solution, even if one can be found without any cost to taxpayers?

          • DavidAppell

            I didn’t say that, and stop trying to put words in my mouth. The President’s children face special threats simply because of who they are, and thus have special security needs. Obviously.

          • ardbeg

            Your off topic, the right cares absolutely not about school choice but they do a good bob-n-weave to disguise their real motives. School choice is code for weakening public schools, getting rid of unions, getting rid of union money in politics and getting religion into schools at tax payer expense. What will happen when you get your way and parents are able to take taxpayer dollars to move their kid to a private religious school and that school is a Muslim school held in a Mosque? How is the old white guy party going to like that? I think bricks and toilet habits will be the result!

    • DavidAppell

      Teen girls have been making decisions about their pregnancies for millennia. The decision rests with them and, hopefully, a partner, not with you.

  • Mike

    Remember, peoples, choice to Dems only means one thing – murder of the unborn (or born if necessary). But not for schools. Not ever.

    • DavidAppell

      Lots of people choose the school their children attend. Your claim is false.

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