Peter Montgomery, a senior fellow at People for the American Way, published this overview of voucher research.
The results are in, and they show that vouchers don’t help children learn more. The most recent studies find that students are actually set back academically by vouchers. Indiana has the nation’s largest voucher program. The latest study said that students lose ground in the first two years or so. After three or four years in a voucher school, they catch up with their peers in public school. But that finding, which seemed to show that vouchers are not so harmful after all, was not what it appeared. In fact, after two years, the weakest students had dropped out and returned to public schools. So only the strongest students remained after four years.
Almost every private school that participates in Indiana’s program is religiously affiliated. As a rule, Americans don’t want tax money to subsidize religious schools.
Voucher advocates have generally dropped the claim that vouchers “save” children or that nonpublic schools are superior to public schools. Instead, they have retreated to advocating for choice. Consumerism is their fallback position. Choice for the sake of choice.
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