EPI Report: School Vouchers are Not a Proven Strategy for Improving Student Achievement

The Economic Policy Institute released a report that summarizes the effects of voucher programs in several U.S. cities, the states of Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, and in Chile and India.

EPI defines vouchers as advanced under the rubric of “school choice”—the theory that giving parents more choices regarding where to educate their children creates competition and thus improves low-performing schools.

The outcome showed that limited improvements “at best” in student achievement and school district performance were made.

“In the few cases in which test scores increased, other factors, namely increased public accountability, not private school competition, seem to be more likely drivers. And high rates of attrition from private schools among voucher users in several studies raises concerns. The second largest and longest-standing U.S. voucher program, in Milwaukee, offers no solid evidence of student gains in either private or public schools. In the only area in which there is evidence of small improvements in voucher schools—in high school graduation and college enrollment rates—there are no data to show whether the gains are the result of schools shedding lower-performing students or engaging in positive practices. Also, high school graduation rates have risen sharply in public schools across the board in the last 10 years, with those increases much larger than the small effect estimated on graduation rates from attending a voucher school.”

To read the full report visit www.epi.org.

Source: EPI