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ERIC Number: ED531945
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The Comprehensive Longitudinal Evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: Summary of Third Year Reports. SCDP Milwaukee Evaluation Report #14
Wolf, Patrick J.
School Choice Demonstration Project
The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) was established in 1990 as the first urban education reform in the U.S. built around the idea of permitting parents to enroll their children in private schools of their choosing at government expense. In its first year of operation, the MPCP or "Choice" program enrolled 341 students in the seven secular private schools participating in the program. This report provides an overview of the MPCP and the author's and his colleagues' plan for evaluating it over the five-year period from 2006-2007 to 2010-2011. The third year of the comprehensive longitudinal evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program by the School Choice Demonstration Project has produced an interesting set of medium-term findings as well as the conditions for more far-reaching results in the future. The author and his colleagues have established that, two years after being carefully matched on important characteristics, students in their MPCP and MPS (Milwaukee Public School) panels are demonstrating achievement gains in reading and math that are generally equivalent. They have documented the frequency and patterns of school-switching in the city. They have confirmed that both the MPCP and the MPS have recently shed their respective sectors of many low-performing schools. They have displayed a rough and limited snapshot of the average performance of Choice students in certain grades that suggests they tend to perform at levels roughly comparable to similarly income-disadvantaged students in MPS and better than low-income students in urban areas across the U.S. They have found that Milwaukee families tell that their child's commitment to education and study habits are more important harbingers of academic success to them than are test scores. Finally, they have determined that school choice in Milwaukee has neither worsened nor improved the levels of racial segregation in the city's public and private schools. (Contains 1 table, 1 figure and 21 footnotes.) [Additional funding for this paper was provided by the Robertson Foundation. For "The Comprehensive Longitudinal Evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: Summary of Second Year Reports. SCDP Milwaukee Evaluation Report #6," see ED508636.]
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: Annie E. Casey Foundation; Joyce Foundation; Kern Family Foundation; Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; Walton Family Foundation; Robertson Foundation
Authoring Institution: University of Arkansas, School Choice Demonstration Project (SCDP); Walton Family Foundation
Identifiers - Location: United States; Wisconsin