School Vouchers Are a “False Road,” and There’s Data to Prove It –

​Be careful what you wish for; in the case of school voucher programs there is growing evidence that competition for school funding at the state level may not give you a better education. The state government may simply say "we gave you a choice; it’s not our fault you chose the wrong one." Here is an excerpt from the article. Thank You to Char Brandl for posting this as a link in Facebook!

With President Donald Trump’s appointment of billionaire “school choice” champion Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education, there’s strong speculation in the media that some sort of school voucher plan that allows parents to withdraw their children from public schools and send them to private schools at taxpayer expense will be a significant feature of a new federal education policy.

But a report from the Economic Policy Institute warns that the push toward vouchers and toward making public schools compete for funding is being driven by ideological preferences rather than evidence that competition and choice actually work.

Written by Carnoy, the report states there’s a "lack of evidence that vouchers significantly improve student achievement." It also lists a number of serious risks that vouchers pose to the public education system, including increased school segregation, additional administrative costs, more reliance on inexperienced teachers, and greater likelihood students who are the most costly and difficult to educate will be turned away or pushed out by private schools that are not obligated to serve all students.

The ideology driving the push for school vouchers and other forms of choice can be attributed to the popular belief among policy makers and politicians of all stripes that market-based competition is the best means for creating positive systemic change, Carnoy told me in a phone interview.

"It’s a policy without evidence," Carnoy said, and a form of "privatization" that he believes will do great harm in the long run, particularly due to the "diversionary effect" these ideas have in directing policy makers away from measures that are more apt to work.

"More competition flies in the face of what we know would be helpful. It’s purely ideological,” he added.​

School Vouchers Are a “False Road,” and There’s Data to Prove It –