More Evidence Vouchers are a Win-Win

MilwaukeeVoucherThe latest series of studies from the University of Arkansas’s Department of Education Reform on the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) provide more evidence that vouchers improve academic performance and improve public schools.

The fourth year of the Comprehensive Longitudinal Evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program report shows gains in public and private student achievement, gains in graduation rates and millions in taxpayer savings.

Highlights include:

  • MPCP remains popular among Milwaukee families, as evidenced by consistent and at times dramatic growth in MPCP enrollments over the past 12 years. MPCP is the nation’s oldest urban voucher program.
  • The program saves money, nearly $52 million in fiscal year 2011.
  • Both the MPCP and the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) have succeeded in denying public funds to, or closing, a substantial number of low-performing schools over the past four years.
  • Some, but not all, categories of MPCP students show higher achievement on standardized tests than public school peers.
  • Attending a private high school through the MPCP increases the likelihood of a student graduating from high school and enrolling in college.
  • Students in the MPCP appear to be performing at lower levels than MPS students in the younger grades
    but somewhat higher levels than MPS students in the older grades. When similar MPCP and MPS students are tracked carefully over time, however, their rates of achievement growth are statistically
    similar after three years.
  • Public school performance has improved as a result of competitive pressure from the school voucher program.
  • MPCP has had no discernible effect on the racial segregation of schools or housing costs across