School Choice Yearbook 2007

Sheila Grant

Alliance for School Choice and Advocates for School Choice
2008

This volume is straightforward, no-nonsense stuff. Choice is good and so is more of it. Kids and parents seem to agree: Over the past five years there has been an 84 percent increase in school choice enrollment, with 150,000 kids participating this school year. Sixteen choice programs currently operate in nine states plus D.C.--all-time highs for both the number of programs and the number of states with programs. The Yearbook surveys individual states and their school-choice laws and explains, in terms of graduation rates, academic achievement, competition, and parent satisfaction, why the continuing rise in choice legislation and programs is worth celebrating. According to the report, for example, Milwaukee's voucher students have graduation rates eleven percent higher, reading-test scores eleven percent higher, and math-test scores six percent higher than their non-voucher peers. Down south, 92.7 percent of parents whose students receive Florida's McKay Scholarships (vouchers for pupils with disabilities) are satisfied with their children's education, whereas only 32.7 percent were satisfied with the public schools their children previously attended. The report also includes a simple guide to assorted flavors of vouchers. And it makes special mention of school choice's bipartisan support: "Three-quarters of school choice victories in 2006 and 2007 were won in states where Democrats controlled either the Governorship, Legislature, or both." Among African Americans, 68 percent support vouchers for low-income children to attend private schools (61 percent of Hispanics feel the same way). Which is all to say that anti-choice politicians are running out of excuses to not support school-choice legislation. Parents like it, minorities like it, many Democrats like it, and it works. The Yearbook is a shot in the arm to school-choice advocates and provides some ammo for their lobbying efforts. Find it here.

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