Study: Vouchers work

School vouchers improve outcomes for students — and induce public schools to improve, claims Greg Forster in an analysis of 10 studies that used random assignment of students.

Nine studies find that vouchers improve student outcomes, six that all students benefit and three that some benefit and some are not affected. One study finds no visible impact. None of these studies finds a negative impact.

In addition, 18 of 19 empirical studies found public schools improved in response to vouchers. Only in Washington D.C., where the program was   “designed to shield public schools from the impact of competition,” was there no visible improvement.

Voucher benefits “are sometimes large, but are usually more modest in size,” Forster concluded. “This is not surprising since the programs themselves are modest — curtailed by strict limits on the students they can serve, the resources they provide, and the freedom to innovate.”

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