This week in school choice: Win-win

We hear these talking points over and over: Private school choice doesn’t improve student performance. It drains money and other resources from public schools. It promotes racial segregation.

But, as a new report released this week shows, they tend to fall apart under empirical scrutiny. The fourth edition of “A Win-Win Solution” looks at a wide range of quantitative studies on the impact vouchers and other private school choice programs have on public finances, student achievement, desegregation, and even the attitudes of students who receive publicly supported scholarships.

It shows that, in the vast majority of cases, the impact is positive.

Some of the findings are underwhelming. For example, the effects of private competition on public schools, while almost always positive, tend to be quite small. Why is that? Do public school leaders have the autonomy to compete effectively, or are they hamstrung by bureaucracy? Do parents have the information they need to choose meaningfully among schools?


It’s time to get over the left-right divide in education reform. Why the conservative perspective matters — even to reformers who disagree. Coalition building should be about addition, not subtraction.

What if state constitutions guaranteed a right to educate, and to be educated?

How charter schools can spread their successes to district schools. KIPP has a plan to work with Oklahoma district leaders.

Charter school parents look to intervene in a St. Louis lawsuit. Charter school backers pour money into California legislative races. Students excel at an all-girls charter in Baltimore. A troubling case of charter school fraud in Atlanta.

Success Academy battles New York Mayor Bill de Blasio over pre-k autonomy.

Wisconsin voters support vouchers. Georgia Republican voters overwhelmingly endorse school choice.

When schools get failing grades, they tend to get better.

Five different approaches to educational philanthropy.

There’s something about Catholic high schools.

The new federal education law could promote funding equity for schools of choice.

Tweets of the Week

This Week in School Choice is redefinED’s weekly roundup of national news related to educational options. It appears Monday mornings on the blog, but you can sign up here to get it Sunday. Did we miss something? Sends tips, links, suggestions and feedback to tpillow[at]sufs[dot]org.