ERIC Number: ED475897
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-May-23
Reference Count: N/A
Two Roads to Reform: Comparing the Research on Vouchers and Class-Size Reduction.
Neas, Ralph G.
Both educational vouchers and class size reduction are high-profile proposals for improving education. While the body of research on vouchers is small and unconvincing, the research on smaller classes is abundant and compelling. Researchers have been able to compare the impact of both of these policy alternatives on student performance. Their comparison shows that smaller classes far outpace vouchers in raising student test scores. A recent study on voucher students in various cities found that while African American voucher students outscored those who remained in public schools, neither white nor Hispanic voucher students showed any academic gains over their public school peers. The researchers concluded that there was no overall private school impact on the student test scores of those using vouchers. Other studies have also failed to buttress the case being made by voucher supporters (e.g., studies of the Cleveland and Milwaukee voucher programs). Though voucher supporters claim that public schools will not improve without competition, last year, numerous large, urban districts raised achievement scores without the presence of publicly funded vouchers. Research indicates that smaller classes are more effective at raising student achievement than are voucher programs. (Contains 42 endnotes.) (SM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Black Students, Educational Vouchers, Elementary Secondary Education, Program Effectiveness, Public Schools, Small Classes, Urban Schools
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio (Cleveland); Wisconsin (Milwaukee)