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ERIC Number: ED530439
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May-21
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Review of "Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Impacts after Three Years"
Carnoy, Martin
Education and the Public Interest Center
The third-year evaluation of the federally funded Washington, D.C. voucher program shows that low-income students offered vouchers in the first two years of the program had modestly higher reading scores after three years but showed no significant difference in mathematics. Students were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups, and the authors assessed the treatment effect on the overall, combined sample as well as some sample subgroups. The authors, however, interpret the results in ways that raise questions given some of their own findings. For instance, the report downplays the implications of the subgroup results showing that higher reading scores for those offered vouchers were concentrated in the first (2004) cohort, which did not include elementary-grade students and had more private school places available to it. The effect was also focused on students scoring higher on the baseline test, on those who had not attended the most troubled D.C. public schools, and on female students. Further, some of the most interesting results of the study were related to student choice behavior rather than increases in test scores. For example, one-fourth of voucher recipients never used their vouchers, many used them only part of the time, and almost all switched schools at least once. The report could have done far better in analyzing the results of the experiment by presenting them in a more nuanced fashion that focused on the possibility of varied effects with different populations and in different contexts and discussed the limitations of the results for more generalized large-scale applications. (Contains a list of 20 notes and references.) [This paper reviews the following document: "Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Impacts after Three Years. NCEE 2009-4050" (ED504783).]
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
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia