Report: vouchers less about students than parents

Proponents of educational vouchers frequently say that better choices for their kids are the reason they should be able to take public  tax dollars to private institutions. But a new study suggests that what voucher proponents really want are choices for parents. In fact, vouchers have zero positive impact on student outcomes, according to the study.

review of research on publicly-funded voucher programs by the Center on Education Policy shows that “achievement gains for voucher students are similar to those of their public school peers.” The review also found that rhetoric used by voucher proponents has shifted from a focus on improved student achievement to parent satisfaction and the virtue of choice.

We hope this catches the attention of the Kasich administration, whose policy objective was recently claimed to be exactly the opposite:

“What’s right for students sometimes doesn’t fit with what’s been done in the past,” said Robert Sommers, Kasich’s education adviser. Improving Ohio’s schools will no longer be “adult-driven,” he said.

If the best argument for voucher programs are their convenience for adults, not student success, perhaps the administration should slow down and take stock of Ohio’s existing $80 million program before launching ahead with its plans to quadruple the amount diverted to private schools.