Private School Issues and Vouchers

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Keeping Informed about School Vouchers: A Review of Major Developments and Research

Author(s): Alexandra Usher, Nancy Kober
Published: July 27, 2011

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.

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School Vouchers: No Clear Advantage in Academic Achievement

Author(s): Jack Jennings
Published: July 27, 2011

In this Huffington Post blog, posted on July 27, 2011, Jack Jennings reviews the evolution of pro-voucher arguments over last 50 years, discusses these findings in light of CEP’s recent report on vouchers, and calls for greater efforts to improve public schools, which is where 90% of students attend school today.

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Are Private High Schools Better Academically Than Public High Schools?

Author(s): Harold Wenglinsky
Published: October 10, 2007

This study, based on an analysis of the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988-2000, finds that once family background characteristics are taken into account, low-income students attending public urban high schools generally performed as well academically as students attending private high schools. The study also found that students attending traditional public high schools were as likely to attend college as those attending private high schools. In addition, the report also finds that young adults who had attended any type of private high school were no more likely to enjoy job satisfaction, or to be engaged in civic activities at age 26, than those who had attended traditional public high schools.

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