Home > Uncategorized > Fordham Foundation Finds Flaws in Ohio’s Voucher Program

Fordham Foundation Finds Flaws in Ohio’s Voucher Program

Last week the Columbus Dispatch released a story that reported on the findings of a Fordham Foundation study:

…according to new study that found many students who used vouchers to attend private schools fared worse on state reading and math tests compared with their peers in public schools.

Chad Aldis, vice president for Ohio policy and advocacy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, which commissioned the report and supports vouchers, called the results “disappointing,” but he cautioned that researchers looked at a limited number of students and raised questions that warrant further exploration…

In an effort to make lemonade out of the “disappointing” findings, Mr. Aldis offered this preposterous conclusion:

The report also found “modest” improvements in achievement among public school students who were eligible for a voucher but declined to use one, suggesting competition created by the program might have spurred improvements in the public schools.

“For years, voucher critics have argued that students staying in public schools were hurt by voucher programs,” Aldis said. “It’s heartening to see that healthy competition can improve achievement.”

“Healthy competition” had nothing to do with the disparity. In fact the “modest improvements” experienced by the students who remained in public schools is even more astonishing given that during the time the study was underway per pupil spending on public schools declined by 6.8%!

Maybe it’s time for the Fordham Foundation and other conservative think tanks to look at the results of voucher programs in urban areas and determine that they have made no difference whatsoever. At the same time, they might look at the impact supplemental services make in schools serving children raised in poverty and conclude that more spending in those areas might be worthwhile.

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