What can Washington learn from recent school voucher studies?
Unfortunately, due to technical problems during the recording and livestreaming of this event, a video is not available. We apologize for the inconvenience caused.
**Click here to read Jessica Poiner's recap of the event**
**Click here to download David Figlio's PowerPoint**
**Click here to download Douglas Harris' PowerPoint**
The school choice movement, and voucher programs in particular, have reached a fascinating crossroads in their development. While enrollment in voucher programs has increased significantly in recent years, the newest research on the effectiveness of such systems has found surprisingly negative results. For example, research from the University of Arkansas and Tulane University on the Louisiana Scholarship Program found that students who transitioned to private schools made less progress on state tests than their peers who remained in public schools. Meanwhile, Fordham’s own recent study of the Ohio EdChoice Scholarship Program produced similar findings for participants, though at least it appears that competition from the program is helping to improve nearby public schools.
As Congress and the incoming Trump Administration gear up to debate a new federal initiative on private school choice, opponents are already pointing to these studies as evidence that such efforts are unwise. But is that the right takeaway? What factors might have contributed to the mixed findings in Louisiana and Ohio—findings that contradict years of previous research that tended to find strong benefits for voucher recipients? How can policymakers in the states, and possibly in Washington, design programs that achieve better results? Join the Thomas B. Fordham Institute on February 2nd to discuss these questions and more.
Join the conversation online with @educationgadfly at #ChoiceResearch.
| David Figlio
Director of the Institute for Policy Research
| Lindsey Burke
Director, Education Policy Studies and Will Skillman Fellow in Education
The Heritage Foundation
| Douglas N. Harris
Schleider Foundation Chair in Public Education, Tulane University
Director, Education Research Alliance for New Orleans
| Martin R. West
Associate Professor of Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education
| Michael Petrilli
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute