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ERIC Number: ED566983
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
Evaluating Voucher Programs: The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program
Witte, John F.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
This paper is the first summary of two studies and 10 years of evaluating the Milwaukee Parental Choice (voucher) Program (MPCP). This paper discusses school voucher evaluations in general terms and how these studies are carried out. The paper outlines the types of studies completed in "Study I" and "Study II" and the results of those studies. The focus of these studies was on student achievement comparisons between voucher and non-voucher public school students using value-added approaches over five-year periods. "Study II" was able--for the first time--to study high school graduation and college enrollment (attainment). Control groups for "Study I" were: a matched random sample of low-income Milwaukee Public School (MPS) students; and, as a secondary comparison, the entire MPS low-income student population. A more complex matching process was used to pick a control group matched to grade-level random samples of voucher students in "Study II". Low-income students were offered educational vouchers in lieu of tuition to attend private schools in Milwaukee. In "Study I", only secular private schools (23 at most) were in the program; in "Study II", both secular and religious private schools were allowed (approximately 115) to enroll voucher students. Both studies were observational with suitable comparison groups. In both studies a wide range of data were collected over five-year periods including standardized test scores, parent and student surveys, teacher and administrator interviews, and school-level case studies. Both studies conclude that there were no major achievement (test score) differences between voucher and non-voucher samples, but that "Study II" voucher students graduated from high school and attended and persisted in four-year colleges at higher rates than their non-voucher MPS counterparts.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin (Milwaukee)