First-Year Evaluation of Louisiana Voucher Program: Student Achievement Declines

Diane Ravitch's blog

In the first evaluation of the Louisiana voucher program, the results are negative for the students involved. It is an evaluation of only the first year, so perhaps things will get better in the future. But given the low quality of many of the voucher schools, that doesn’t seem likely. The best private and sectarian schools accept few or no voucher students. Many of those that accept vouchers are struggling to survive.

Here is the take-away:

This comparison reveals that LSP participation substantially reduces academic achievement. Attendance at an LSP-eligible private school lowers math scores by 0.4 standard deviations and increases the likelihood of a failing score by 50 percent. Voucher effects for reading, science and social studies are also negative and large.

Atila Abdulkadiroglu, Parag A. Pathak, Christopher R. Walters


NBER Working Paper No. 21839
Issued in December 2015

We evaluate the Louisiana Scholarship Program (LSP), a prominent…

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