Wednesday, February 9, 2011

no credible evidence

"…no credible evidence that the achievement of public- or private-school students has been improved by the availability of vouchers.

Nathan Benefield of Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Foundation has been repeatedly citing one study funded by the Friedman Foundation, the granddaddy of all voucher advocacy organizations, to justify proposed school voucher programs.

However, a review of that report by the National Education Policy Center underscores the use of the word “credible” in critiquing the Friedman Foundation report:

“But the report, based on a review of 17 studies, selectively reads the evidence in some of those studies, the majority of which were produced by voucher advocacy organizations. Moreover, the report can’t decide whether or not to acknowledge the impact of factors other than vouchers on public schools. It attempts to show that public school gains were caused by the presence of vouchers alone, but then argues that the lack of overall gains for districts with vouchers should be ignored because too many other factors are at play. In truth, existing research provides little reliable information about the competitive effects of vouchers, and this report does little to help answer the question.”

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