The ABCs of School Choice: The Comprehensive Guide to Every Private School Choice Program in America
This report from The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice focuses on school choice programs in 2013, including vouchers, education savings accounts, tax-credit scholarships, and and individual tax credits/deductions. The report describes programs throughout the United States, listed alphabetically by state. The foundation continues to promote school choice as the most effective and equitable way to improve the quality of K-12 education in America. The foundation is dedicated to research, education, and outreach on the vital issues and implications related to choice in K-12 education.
Released January 2013. The notion of identifying successful schools and encouraging their expansion seems straightforward and logical. But in the charter school context, the desirable goal of better outcomes for students immediately encounters a set of three hurdles, detailed in this report from the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO). There is a growing body of research, including prior work from CREDO, showing that the performance of charter schools varies widely, even after state policy differences are taken into account. The research shows that to date, high-performing charter schools are in the minority. Since these studies are typically a snapshot of performance over a period of time, the question of how schools' quality changes over time is left unanswered.
Voluntary Guidelines for States: Development and Implementation of a School Environmental Health Program
Released October 2012. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed these voluntary guidelines to assist states in establishing and implementing environmental health programs for K-12 schools in accordance with the Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007. In carrying out this statutory mandate, EPA, along with its federal partners, developed these guidelines to help states establish the infrastructure needed to support schools in implementing school environmental health programs. The practices recommended within these guidelines can also be applied, with appropriate adaptation, to a wide range of school-related institutions, including child care and early learning centers.
NAEP has consistently demonstrated how the performance of students in private schools compares positively to that of students in public schools and the rest of the nation. Without the participation of private schools in NAEP, any report of trends in student achievement at the elementary, middle, and high school levels would be incomplete. More than 1,600 private schools will be selected to participate in the NAEP 2011 assessment. NAEP will be administered between January 24 and March 4, 2011, to a sample of fourth-grade students in mathematics and reading, and eighth-grade students in mathematics, reading, and science. Individual students within sessions will be assessed in mathematics, reading, or science. A small number of students in some schools will be assessed in a computer-based writing assessment for eighth- and twelfth-graders. In addition, NAEP will select an oversample of private schools for 2011 to produce reportable results in mathematics and reading at grades 4 and 8 for four groups: Catholic, Lutheran, Conservative Christian, and Other Private schools.
Released September 2010, revised February 2011. Though there have been numerous studies on the effects of charter schools, these have mostly been confined to analyzing their effects on student achievement, student demographic composition, parental satisfaction, and the competitive effects on regular public schools. This study departs from the existing literature by investigating the effect of charter schools on enrollment in private schools. To investigate this issue empirically, we focus on the state of Michigan, where there was a significant spread of charter schools in the 1990s. Using data on private school enrollment from biennial National Center for Education Statistics private school surveys, and using a fixed-effects as well as instrumental-variables strategy that exploits exogenous variation from Michigan charter law, we investigate the effect of charter school penetration on private school enrollment. We find robust evidence of a decline in enrollment in private schools—but the effect is only modest in size.
Released October 4, 2010. School voucher and education tax credit programs have proliferated in the United States over the past two decades. Advocates have argued that they will enable families to become active consumers in a free and competitive education marketplace, but some fear that these programs may in fact bring with them a heavy regulatory burden that could stifle market forces. Until now, there has been no systematic, empirical investigation of that concern. This "Working Paper" developed by the Cato Institute sheds light on the issue by quantifying the regulations imposed on private schools both within and outside school choice programs, and then analyzing them with descriptive statistics and regression analyses. The results are tested for robustness to alternative ways of quantifying private school regulation, and to alternative regression models, and the question of causality is addressed. The study concludes that vouchers, but not tax credits, impose a substantial and statistically significant additional regulatory burden on participating private schools.
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