ON-Lion Letter
The second set of reports from a longitudinal study of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) by the University of Arkansas' School Choice Demonstration Project (SCDP) was released in March.  The eight reports are part of a five-year study of the voucher program, which was the first of its kind when it started in 1990 and, in the 2007-08 academic year, enrolled 19,069 students at 124 private schools.

The new research shows that MPCP appears to be having a positive effect on the achievement of boys using vouchers to attend private schools, although girls appear to be doing somewhat better in public schools.  The voucher program has also led to increased achievement for the children who remain in Milwaukee's public schools, while saving the state millions of dollars, the researchers report.
MPCP "has produced a rising tide that has lifted all boats, but that tide has not exactly been a tsunami," according to the summary written by SCDP's Patrick J. Wolf, a University of Arkansas professor of education reform.

The research team is examining the effects of the voucher program on such outcomes as student achievement, parent and student satisfaction, civic values, and how parents and students experience the program.  It is also looking at the systemic effects of the choice program on education finance, public schools, non-participating students, private-school capacity, and school-level racial integration.

All of SCDP's MPCP reports, including last year's first set, are available online.

Along with several other foundations, Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation supports SCDP's MPCP study.
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