USING A VOUCHER has not improved the academic achievement of the targeted students.
“The analysis revealed . . . [n]o significant achievement impacts in reading or math for students who came from SINI schools, [“Schools in Need of Improvement,”] the subgroup of students for whom the statute gave top priority.”
“There was no statistically significant impact on math achievement, overall . . . from the offer of a scholarship nor from the use of a scholarship.”
In year three, for the first time, the reading achievement of some students did improve. But, it is noteworthy that students coming from SINI schools and students who entered the program* in the lower third of the test-score distribution showed no improvement in reading. The two sub-groups of students who showed the most improvement in reading were students for which federal government intervention is the least justifiable: students who did not come from SINI schools and students who were in the top two-thirds of the test-score distribution when they entered the Program.
Source: 2009 U.S. Dep’t of Ed. Report at xxvi, xviii, xxix-xxx, 35, 40.
Attending a Private Voucher School Did Not Have a Positive Impact on Student Safety or Satisfaction.
“[T]here was no evidence of an impact from the offer of a scholarship or the use of a scholarship on students’ reports” of school safety.
Being offered or using a voucher had no impact on students’ reports of satisfaction with their school.
Source: 2009 U.S. Dep’t of Ed. Report at xxvi, xxviii, 44-45, 49-50.
The Program Did Not Improve Student Motivation and Engagement or the Educational Experience.
- There were no statistically significant impacts between students offered a scholarship and those who were not on their reports of “aspirations for future schooling”; “engagement in extracurricular activities”; “frequency of doing homework”; “attendance at school”; or “tardiness rates.”
There were no also statistically significant impacts between students in the program and not in the program on “how students rated their teacher’s attitude”; the “student/teacher ratio”; or the “availability of before-and-after-school programs.”
- 39% of the students who left their voucher school in the third year did so because the “child did not get the academic support he/she needed at the private school” and 25% left because the “child did not like the private school.”
Source: 2009 U.S. Dep’t of Ed. Report at xxxii, 25, 55-56.
The Vast Majority of Students in the Voucher Program Attended a Faith-Based School.
In year three of the Program, 82% of students in the program attended a faith-based voucher school.
Source: 2009 U.S. Dep’t of Ed. Report at 16.
The Voucher Program Decreased Student Access to Key Services.
% of students in the program whose schools have the service as compared to students not in the program:
- ESL Programs - 31% fewer
- Learning Support/Special Needs -17% fewer
- Tutors - 17% fewer
- Counselors - 13% fewer
- After-school Programs - 6% fewer
- Nurse’s Office - 51% fewer
- Cafeteria - 9% fewer
Source: 2009 U.S. Dep’t of Ed. Report at xxii, 17.
* In accordance with the report, participation “in the program” includes all students offered a voucher, regardless of whether they used the voucher.