ERIC Number: ED467363
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Jun
The Problem of Taking Private School Voucher Programs to Scale: The Next Issue in the Voucher Wars. The Century Foundation Issue Brief Series.
Kahlenberg, Richard D.
This paper suggests that public school choice programs, which affect a much larger number of U.S. students than do educational vouchers, offer the chance to promote achievement on a grand scale. It begins by examining previous research that found that only urban African American students in voucher programs showed significant academic improvement. It concludes that if the voucher programs were expanded to include large numbers of low income students, the academic benefits found in the research would likely be lost, because once voucher schools accept large numbers of low income students, they are likely to face all the difficulties of high poverty schools (negative peer influences, low parental involvement, and less ability to attract qualified teachers). It also notes that after creaming off the most motivated students and parents to the voucher schools, the students left behind in public schools may be marginally worse off. The paper recommends developing a widespread public school choice program that is likely to succeed. It suggests that instead of trying to pack low income students into a tiny number of private voucher schools, carefully structured public school choice programs could build on the success of thousands of middle class public schools. (SM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Black Students, Educational Vouchers, Elementary Secondary Education, Private Schools, Racial Differences, School Choice, Urban Schools
Century Foundation Press, 41 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021. Tel: 212-535-4441; Fax: 212-353-7534; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For full text: http://www.tcf.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Century Foundation, New York, NY.