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ERIC Number: ED575666
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Pages: 62
Abstractor: ERIC
Evaluation of Ohio's EdChoice Scholarship Program: Selection, Competition, and Performance Effects
Figlio, David; Karbownik, Krzysztof
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
In June 2005, the State of Ohio enacted the Educational Choice Scholarship Program (EdChoice, initially called the Educational Choice Scholarship Pilot Program), which offered scholarships to students assigned to public schools considered consistently poor-performing by the Ohio Department of Education, to take effect during the 2006-07 academic year. The purpose of this report is to provide an analysis of the effects of the EdChoice program on students and schools in Ohio using the most appropriate tools for causal inference possible, as determined by the authors, given how the program was implemented. Throughout the report, the authors present occasional references from the related scholarly literature; these references are intended to be representative but not comprehensive. Although the nature of program implementation precludes the use of experimental methods, it does still provide opportunities for quasi-experimental research designs. The authors investigate three interrelated questions: (1) When students are offered the opportunity to attend private schools under the EdChoice program, which students ultimately attend private schools? (2) What are the effects of the EdChoice program on the reading and mathematics performance of students who continue to attend traditional public schools? (3) What are the effects of participation in the EdChoice program on the reading and mathematics performance of students who move to the private sector as a consequence of the program? The evidence regarding the effects of EdChoice program suggests that while higher-performing students tend to leave public schools to attend private schools under the EdChoice program, the students who remain in the public schools--at least, those public schools that were comparatively high achieving--generally perform better on statewide tests as a consequence of EdChoice vouchers being available to students in a school. On the other hand, those students who leave these comparatively high-achieving public schools to go to private schools appear to perform worse than they would have had they remained in the public schools (which is estimated to have improved as a consequence of the introduction of EdChoice). Together, it appears that EdChoice has benefitted the majority of students, but the students who actually left the public schools--at least those on the margin of eligibility--perform worse on statewide tests. Although test performance is only one measure of educational success, these findings suggest that a detailed exploration of the possible causes of the negative test-score results (for instance, which private schools participate in the program, policies on school-grade retention, test-curriculum alignment, and the like) may be warranted. Two appendices are included: (1) Analysis of overall effects in the initial 2006-07 eligibility wave; (2) Tables. [Foreword by Aaron Churchill and Chad L. Aldis.]
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Institute; Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
Identifiers - Location: Ohio
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A