ON-Lion Letter
School-voucher programs increase student achievement and satisfy parents, according to four top researchers who spoke out in late May at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to highlight the findings of key school-choice studies.

Considered four of America’s foremost experts on education research, Jay Greene, Thomas Stewart, and Patrick Wolf of the University of ArkansasSchool Choice Demonstration Project (SCDP) and Grover "Russ" Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution revealed key data and perspectives from more than a dozen school-choice initiatives.

Their presentation was a timely gathering in light of the current congressional debate over the future of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP).  The federally funded OSP allows low-income District families to receive a scholarship to attend a participating private school of their parents' choice.

In all, the researchers indicated that when it comes to school choice, the results have been overwhelmingly favorable -- and plentiful.

Reviewing the overall body of research on school-choice programs -- 18 exist across 10 states and D.C. -- Greene said that no studies have demonstrated that school vouchers have a negative impact on student learning, with most studies showing "a higher level of achievement in students."

Parents of students in the D.C. program, Wolf said, "viewed private schools as safer, more orderly, and more disciplined."  Wolf said that students who were offered vouchers demonstrated 3.7 months of additional learning in reading than their public-school peers.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation supports SCDP's evaluation of the Milwaukee school-choice program.
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