More evidence for school choice

School choice improves academic outcomes and saves taxpayers money. What more could you want? Well, there is more: Choice improves performance of the public schools, lessens racial segregation, and “strengthens the shared civic values and practices essential to American democracy.”

A new report surveyed 51 empirical studies covering five policy areas:

  • Academic outcomes of choice participants
  • Academic outcomes of public schools
  • Fiscal impact on taxpayers
  • Racial segregation in schools
  • Civic values and practices

Almost every study found a positive effect, 5 found a neutral effect, and not a single study found a negative effect.

Before this empirical evidence existed, “there was some excuse for making policy based on speculation, anecdotal observation, and intuition. Today, the effects of these programs are known, and there is no longer any excuse for policymakers and opinion leaders to be ignorant of the facts.”

Education: spending way up, scores flat

$2 trillion trying to improve education, zero results. That is just federal spending. Total spending (state, local, federal) for a high-school graduate has tripled with, again, zero improvement. (All numbers adjusted for inflation.)

Ed funding, scores

There is (or was) ONE federal program that did show results – theĀ Washington, DC Opportunity Scholarships Program. Compared to the local public schools, it produced better results at one-quarter the cost. Naturally the politicians canceled the program.