ERIC Number: ED427144
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Sep-1
Reference Count: N/A
Initial Findings from an Evaluation of School Choice Programs in Washington, D.C.
Peterson, Paul E.; Greene, Jay P.; Howell, William G.; McCready, William
The Washington Scholarship Fund Pilot Program (WSF) was established as a privately funded voucher program for low-income families in the District of Columbia. The WSF awarded its scholarships by lottery, making it possible to evaluate it as though it were a randomized experiment. The responses of qualified families with children in public schools are compared with those of families with children in private schools. Parental responses were from all applicants, and student responses were from students in grades 5 and 6. Private school samples ranged from 339 to 430 for different questions; public school samples ranged from 935 to 1,810. Students in private schools were more likely to report a positive educational climate in their schools, and parents echoed student opinions. Parental satisfaction was much higher for private schools, which demonstrated a greater capacity to stimulate parent participation and other forms of social capital among low-income, inner-city families. In applying for the program, parents were most interested in higher standards, a better curriculum, small classes, and improved safety. Although some findings could be influenced by parent self-selection through choosing to send their children to private schools, most findings held after statistical adjustments were made for demographic characteristics. An appendix describes parent characteristics. (Contains 9 tables and 25 endnotes.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Kennedy School of Government.; Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Dept. of Government.
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia