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ERIC Number: ED530090
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May-18
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Review of "The Effect of Milwaukee's Parental Choice Program on Student Achievement in Milwaukee Public Schools"
Camilli, Gregory
Education and the Public Interest Center
According to a new study of Milwaukee public schools, student achievement has benefited from voucher-based school competition. A novel method, using geocoding, was proposed for measuring the degree of competition within the city of Milwaukee and, in turn, for determining whether such competition has increased or decreased the achievement of public school students. Though a more traditional measurement of competition was eventually used in lieu of geocoding, the authors of the study determined that the overall effect of competition on student outcomes was positive over the seven-year span for which data were available. Specifically, it was argued that increased school choice improves the academic performance of students in traditional public schools who are voucher eligible by means of system-wide competitive pressures. Based on a review of several key issues--including statistical modeling and control, effect size interpretation, the role of explanation in causal inference, and the validity of reported conclusions--the practical effect of competition through vouchers appears to be small, if not negligible. It is also suggested that a number of methodological issues would benefit from greater clarity. (Contains 12 notes.) [This paper reviews the following report: "The Effect of Milwaukee's Parental Choice Program on Student Achievement in Milwaukee Public Schools. SCDP Comprehensive Longitudinal Evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. Report #11" (ED530091).]
Education and the Public Interest Center. School of Education, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309. Tel: 303-447-EPIC; Fax: 303-492-7090; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice
Authoring Institution: University of Colorado at Boulder, Education and the Public Interest Center; Arizona State University, Education Policy Research Unit