Ruh-roh (via Diane Ravitch):
The latest evaluation of the Florida voucher program showed that students in voucher schools made academic gains similar to their peers in public schools.From the report:
Test score gains for program participants are virtually identical to those of income- eligible non-participants remaining in Florida public schools. Participating students gained slightly relative to comparable public school students in 2010-11, though this difference is not statistically significant. It is important to recall that the participating students differ from the income-eligible public school students in important ways – their incomes are substantially lower and their previous test performance in public school tended to be substantially lower. These differences make direct comparison of gain scores more problematic. Because families can choose whether to participate in the program, it is inappropriate to consider the differences in test score gains between FTC Program participants and their public school counterparts to be caused by program participation.
It is, therefore, best to consider the fact that test score gains are extremely similar between the public and private sector to be suggestive evidence of little difference in average performance across the sectors, rather than causal evidence of differential performance. That said, in past cohorts for whom there existed sufficient data to estimate the causal consequences of program participation, there was evidence of positive effects of participation in the FTC program, especially for math. Little has changed in terms of test scores or factors influencing program participation across cohorts, indicating that one might infer, albeit with caution, that positive effects found in prior cohorts continued to the most recent application cohort.
Recent statistical research has shown that the FTC Program has improved the performance of Florida public schools to a modest degree. Therefore, the correct interpretation of the findings in this report are that students participating in the program have kept pace with the improvements in the public schools associated with the FTC Program. [emphasis mine]But I thought
Most importantly, the wealthy Peter Denton appears to be willing to keep the money flowing to E3 so the professional
Yes, the evidence keeps piling up that
UPDATE: Bob Sikes takes a look at this study:
Here's the study, which I'm now looking at more carefully. My first impression: Bob's got a point. Not only do there seem to be some serious design flaws here; there's no citation to any evidence that FTC improved statewide performance. I have serious reservations that you could ever show that vouchers make public schools better.
I'm not sure we can draw any meaningful conclusions from Foglio's work, either pro or con, about vouchers. I'm going to read this more carefully and report back later.