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New Study Finds That School Choice is a "Win-Win"

When it comes to education reform, there is a lot of misinformation out there. While it has been shown time and time again that school choice is a win-win situation for everyone involved, there are those who continue to argue against it. Perhaps a little empirical evidence will change some minds. Today, the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice released a report which provided just that in A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence on School Choice

The report examined five topics: academic outcomes of choice participants, academic outcomes of public schools, fiscal impact on taxpayers, racial segregation in schools, and civic values and practices. The Friedman Foundation said “The empirical evidence consistently shows that choice improves academic outcomes for participants and public schools, saves taxpayer money, moves students into more integrated classrooms, and strengthens the shared civic values and practices essential to American democracy.”

The vast majority of the studies examined showed that school choice is beneficial in all five areas. Eleven of the twelve studies examined showed that choice improves academic outcomes, twenty-two of twenty-three show that choice improves academic outcomes in public schools as well.  Every study examined shows that school choice has no negative financial impact on taxpayers, and that it decreases racial segregation. None of the studies showed that school choice has a negative impact on civic values and practices.  

What can we learn from this intensive study on school choice?

"Despite decades of carping by skeptics, vouchers and school choice in any form are a win-win for children--whether they attend private school or remain in a public school affected by school choice," said Robert Enlow, president and CEO of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. "Competition works in all segments of our society, and it certainly helps children when they're permitted to attend a school that fits their needs."

With such clear evidence on the benefits of school choice, one has to wonder how long detractors will be able to keep up their fight. 

K.C. Martin

School Choice is a great idea in theory - just like No Child Left Behind and the Patriot Act but they too failed. We have school choice but the problem is that the good schools in our district are filled up and only a very small percentage of parents that "choose" which public school they want their kids in actually get it.
If you are referring to public versus private schools in School Choice - you still have the same problem. There are not enough charter or private schools around to even attempt it.
So when you guys are talking about school choice - are you talking about within the district school choice or public, private, charter school choice? Either way it's a pipe dream.

grruff's picture

In 1917 the Netherlands started a voucher program, giving a certain amount of money to each student and allowing the student/parents to choose a school, private or public. Now 75% of the schools there are private. There are rules that all schools must follow (private schools must be non-profit), but even the public schools have improved (once they discovered that they would have to compete or go out of business).

So who came up with the rule that taxes could only fund government run (into the ground) schools?
Only politics, and teachers' unions, keep us from doing the right thing by our kids.

stonestone's picture
stone stone

Studies comparing public schools to non-public schools such as charter schools are inconclusive. Of course anyone could very easily find a report promoting the notion of various such non-public schools as 'winners' and that such a story would appear on a right wing site shouldn't come as a surprise. I realize that in the effort of the GOP and its financial supporters that its ideal to try and portray public services in a negative light. But suggesting that any and ALL public programs can be solved by basically doing away with them is totally misidentifying the real problems that have caused some public schools to have issues, and that would mainly be in their funding. Countless examples exist where even public funds, taxes, and budgets were basically pilfered to pay for something else. So if that be the case, how would suddenly putting everyone in non-public schools work any better? It wouldn't. Then again we all knew that anyway...