The Center on Education Policy is a national, independent advocate for public education and for more effective public schools. The Center helps Americans better understand the role of public education in a democracy and the need to improve the academic quality of public schools. We do not represent any special interests. Instead, we try to help citizens make sense of the conflicting opinions and perceptions about public education and create the conditions that will lead to better public schools.
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This report examines a decade’s worth of research on school vouchers and concludes that vouchers have had no clear positive effect on student academic achievement, and mixed outcomes for students overall. Effects on graduation rates, parental satisfaction, public school achievement and cost to taxpayers are discussed. The report also notes that much of this research has been carried out or sponsored by pro-voucher organizations, signaling a particular need for scrutiny. In addition to this research review, the report describes voucher programs currently in existence, summarizes major court cases and referenda on vouchers from the past ten years, and reflects on changes in the voucher landscape. The report serves as an update to CEP’s paper School Vouchers: What We Know and Don't Know…and How We Could Learn More, released in 2000.