(Page 2 of 2)
All of this is in line with studies of voucher programs elsewhere. Indeed, a meta-analysis of all the major voucher studies conducted by the Foundation for Educational Choice pointed out that nine out of 10 random-assignment studies—the most rigorous possible—found that vouchers improved reading and math outcomes of voucher kids. (The studies included in the Foundation's sample were conducted by such right-wing hacks as the New York Federal Reserve, Economic Policy Institute, and Department of Education!)
Voucher opponents allege that vouchers hurt public school kids by draining resources. The exact opposite seems to be the case. Indeed, out of 19 studies examining this impact, 18 found that competition by vouchers actually improved education outcomes in public schools too. “Every empirical study conducted in Milwaukee, Florida, Ohio, Texas, Maine and Vermont finds that voucher programs in those places improved public schools,” the Foundation’s analysis concluded.
Vouchers are cheap and effective whereas publicly funded preschool is expensive and ineffective. That’s what the evidence shows. And if President Obama wanted to be true to it rather than indulge his ideological fancy, he would push Universal Vouchers to improve student performance—not Universal Preschool. That might in fact free up public education dollars for more targeted interventions of genuinely at-risk kids while protecting taxpayers from yet another massive, new entitlement.