Politico: New Study Shows Negative Effects of Vouchers in D.C. Program

Diane Ravitch's blog

Voucher advocates have protected D.C.’s voucher program, known as “Opportunity Scholarships,” since it was created in 2004 despite lack of strong evidence for its benefits. Evaluations have found little or no improvement in test scores. This new evaluation shows negative effects on test scores in the elementary grades for those who enrolled in voucher schools. This echoes studies in Louisiana, Indiana, and Ohio, where voucher students lost ground as compared to their peers who were offered vouchers but stayed in public schools. In the past, the D.C. evaluation team was led by Patrick Wolf of the University of Arkansas, the high temple of school choice. The evaluation team for this new study was led by Mark Dynarski of Pemberton Research and a group of Westat researchers. Dynarski, you may recall, wrote a paper for the Brookings Institution calling attention to the negative impact of vouchers in Louisiana and Indiana. Previous…

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