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ERIC Number: ED518706
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
The Comprehensive Longitudinal Evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: Summary of Fourth Year Reports. SCDP Milwaukee Evaluation. Report #28
Wolf, Patrick J.
School Choice Demonstration Project
In 2006 Wisconsin policymakers identified the School Choice Demonstration Project (SCDP) as the organization to help answer lingering questions about the effects of the MPCP [Milwaukee Parental Choice Program]. The SCDP is a national research organization, based in the University of Arkansas' Department of Education Reform, dedicated to the comprehensive, objective and nonpartisan evaluation of school choice programs. Thus far our research has generated a pattern of school choice results that range from neutral (no significant difference) to strongly positive. Although we have examined virtually every possible way that school choice could systematically affect people, schools, and neighborhoods in Milwaukee, we have found no evidence of any harmful effects of choice. Our major findings to date are: (1) The MPCP remains popular among Milwaukee families, as evidenced by consistent and at times dramatic growth in MPCP enrollments over the past 12 years. (2) The Choice program saves the government money--nearly $52 million in fiscal year 2011--although not all types of Wisconsin taxpayers benefit from the savings. (3) Both the MPCP and the MPS [Milwaukee Public School] have succeeded in denying public funds to, or closing, a substantial number of low-performing schools over the past four years. (4) Attending a private high school through the MPCP increases the likelihood of a student graduating from high school and enrolling in college. (5) Students in the MPCP appear to be performing at lower levels than MPS students in the younger grades but somewhat higher levels than MPS students in the older grades. When similar MPCP students are tracked carefully over time, however, their rates of achievement growth are statistically similar after three years. (6) MPS students themselves are performing at somewhat higher levels as a result of competitive pressure from the school voucher program. (7) The MPCP has had no discernible effect on the racial segregation of schools or housing costs across neighborhoods. (8) Independent public charter schools are generating significantly higher rates of achievement growth for their students compared to similar students in MPS. (Contains 1 table, 2 figures, and 18 footnotes.)
School Choice Demonstration Project. Department of Education Reform, University of Arkansas, 201 Graduate Education Building, Fayetteville, AR 72701. Tel: 479-575-3172; Fax: 479-575-3196; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: University of Arkansas, School Choice Demonstration Project (SCDP)
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin