After Nikole Hannah-Jones’s calm yet impassioned essay on public schools comes this from today’s Times.
Given the bits and pieces I’ve read about whether vouchers/charter schools offer academic advantage over genuine free public schools, I was startled and greatly encouraged to read about three new studies basically slamming the idea that vouchers/charter schools provide a better education than do public schools.
I think this is major news:
The new studies come at an interesting moment, with a proponent of vouchers newly in charge of the Education Department.
In case you’ve become cynical, one of the three research studies was conducted by a conservative group (linked, as you’ll notice, to the Walmart people):
In June, a third voucher study was released by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative think tank and proponent of school choice. The study, which was financed by the pro-voucher Walton Family Foundation, focused on a large voucher program in Ohio. “Students who use vouchers to attend private schools have fared worse academically compared to their closely matched peers attending public schools,” the researchers found. Once again, results were worse in math.
Three consecutive reports, each studying one of the largest new state voucher programs, found that vouchers hurt student learning.
And if you have time, take a look at some of the comments to this article. They further open the eyes.