"Students using school vouchers to attend private schools in Florida are doing no better and no worse than similar students in public schools, a study says. The study finds that school vouchers that send children to private schools have not improved their scores over students at public schools."
Supporters often say school vouchers are lifelines to low-income students trapped in subpar public schools.
But academically, students using vouchers to attend private schools in Florida are doing no better and no worse than similar students in public schools, says a study ordered by the state Legislature.
"We consider the report a validation of what we've always said," said Mark Pudlow, a spokesman for the state teachers union. "There is no quick fix for struggling students."
Northwestern University economics professor David Figlio compared test scores of students in the voucher program, which served 23,259 students last year, to eligible public school students who opted not to participate.
Figlio said it's too early to draw hard-and-fast conclusions, and outlined some technical complications he expects to resolve with another year's worth of data.
But he said more data isn't likely to change the bottom line.
"I'm confident that it's highly unlikely that we're going to see huge differential positive test score gains from this program" or negative results either, he said after the report was released Monday. "My hunch is, when all is said and done … it's going to be a wash in terms of test scores." ...
Thursday, July 02, 2009
This from the St Petersburg Times: