School Choice: What the Research Says

Case for School ChoiceAs the benefits of current school choice programs become clearer, it is time to take our eyes off the past and look towards the future. Jay Green argues that despite many journalists’ claims that the research on school choice is “mixed and inconclusive” there is “more agreement among researchers and analysts about the evidence on school choice than reporters let on.”

In a piece Dr. Green and eight other researchers published for Education Week in February, four specific areas of agreement are emphasized.

  • School choice improves student outcomes—voucher programs have a significant positive effect on graduation rates and lead to modest improvements in math and/or reading scores.
  • School choice improves public schools—voucher programs have a positive effect on the performance of public schools in the area.
  • School choice saves taxpayers money—even with conservative assumptions of the impact of school choice on state and district budgets, the results have been positive.
  • School choice has not harmed students, taxpayers or schools—whether it be in studies of academic performance or public finances or the quality of public schools, voucher programs have not been shown to have any negative effects.

With the importance of educational success to keep America competitive, lawmakers need to embrace the school choice programs that have a proven positive effect. Expanding school choice will improve public schools and student performance, helping to adequately prepare the next generation.