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K12 Why It's So Hard To Know Whether School Choice Is Working


On "K12 Why It's So Hard To Know Wheather School Choice Is Working", Ana Kametnetz and Cort Tuner propose:

"Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been a passionate proponent of expanding school choice, including private school vouchers and charter schools, and she has the clear backing of President Trump. But does the research justify her enthusiasm?

Experts say one single, overarching issue bedevils their efforts to study the impact of school choice programs. That is: It's hard to disentangle the performance of a school from the selection of its students.

Students are never randomly assigned to a school. A school's population is always affected by local demographics. With schools of choice, by definition, parents and students are making a decision to attend that school, so their enrollment is even less random."

 And quote research by Lemann Center faculty director Martin Carnoy: "Martin Carnoy wrote for the left-leaning Economic Policy institute in February: 'Extensive research on educational vouchers in the United States over the past 25 years shows that gains in student achievement are at best small.'" 

LC Author/s: 
All Authors: 
Ana Kamenetz, Cory Turner