Milwaukee’s so-called voucher students, who are given tax dollars to go to private schools, are performing at roughly the same levels in math and reading as their public school peers. That is the finding of an analysis that has concluded its third year in a five year longitudinal study on the Parental Choice Program.
“In the study of student growth over two years, the voucher students are doing about as well in reading and math achievement growth as a carefully matched sample of MPS students,” says UW-Madison Professor John Witte
Witte says during that time, however, there was lower performance for kids that move from one school to another.
Prof. Witte (:24)
Witte says it didn’t matter if the students, which were grades 3-8 and 10, switched schools within MPS, or within choice schools. Reasons for the switch, parents cited, include low satisfaction, child needs or the school did not offer the next grade.
The study also found that choice students performed at higher levels than similarly lower income students in other urban areas of the US.
The reports were unveiled Wednesday by a team of researchers from UW-Madison and the University of Arkansas.