school vouchers

Author
Abstract

Many argue schools that serve inner-city and rural children are in “crisis.” This paper
reviews the best available evidence on the effects of class size and school vouchers. Results from
the Tennessee STAR experiment suggest smaller class sizes improve achievement, particularly for
inner-city and minority children; results from the New York City voucher experiment and the
Milwaukee Parental Choice program suggest there may be small achievement gains in mathematics
for the African-American and Hispanic children who use vouchers. Although the reason of the
achievement gains is unknown, one candidate is the smaller class sizes in the private schools.

Year of Publication
2000
Number
440
Date Published
06/2000
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
7871
Rouse, C. (2000). School Reform in the 21st Century: A Look at the Effect of Class Size and School Vouchers on the Academic Achievement of Minority Students. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp013n203z091 (Original work published 06/2000AD)
Working Papers
Author
Abstract

In this paper I review the existing evaluations of the effect of the Milwaukee Parental Choice
Program on student achievement. Two of the three existing papers report significant gains in math for the
choice students and two of the three studies report no significant effects in reading. I also extend the analysis
to compare the achievement of students in the choice schools to students in three different types of public
schools: regular attendance area schools, city-wide (or magnet) schools, and attendance area schools with
small class sizes and supplemental funding from the state of Wisconsin (“P-5” schools). The results suggest
that students in P-5 schools have similar math test score gains to those in the choice schools, and students
in the P-5 schools outperform students in the choice schools in reading. In contrast, students in the city-wide
schools score no differently than students in the regular attendance area schools in both math and reading.
Given that the pupil-teacher ratios in the P-5 and choice schools are significantly smaller than those in the
other public schools, one potential explanation for these results is that students perform well in schools with
smaller class sizes.

Year of Publication
1998
Number
396
Date Published
01/1998
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 113, No. 2, May, 1998
Rouse, C. (1998). Schools and Student Achievement: More Evidence From the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp0141687h45w (Original work published 01/1998AD)
Working Papers