Thursday, August 23, 2012
New Harvard study provides evidence vouchers boost college enrollment for African Americans
INDIANAPOLIS — The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice today lauded a new, independent study that shows students who used privately-funded scholarships in New York City to obtain a K-12 education were more likely to attend college than a control group of their peers.
The report was released today at the Brookings Institution. It was a study conducted by scholars from Harvard University’s Program on Education and Governance (PEPG).
“Once again what we are seeing is that when the most rigorous, randomized studies are conducted, the evidence is loud and clear,” said Robert Enlow, president and CEO of the Friedman Foundation. “Students win and have a better shot at not only getting a good K-12 education but now we see a chance that it translates to the possibility of a great college education.”
The Foundation is the legacy foundation of Milton and Rose Friedman. Nobel laureate Milton Friedman first proposed the school voucher concept nearly 60 years ago.
This new report, authored by Matthew Chingos and Paul Peterson, is the 11th gold standard study using random-assignment methods that considers voucher effects on participating students. Their research design used a methodology that is the “gold standard” and most rigorous in the social sciences. Ten other evaluations of school voucher programs have found that all or some groups of students using vouchers had better academic outcomes than the control group remaining in the public schools. Only one of these studies did not find a significant test score gain due to vouchers compared to nine others that did find significant gains.
“Pundits may dismiss vouchers, but African American parents know they work and strong scientific data prove they work,” Enlow said.
According to the Harvard/PEPG study:
- A voucher offer increased the college enrollment rate of African Americans by 7.1 percentage points, an increase of 20 percent overall. If the offered scholarship is actually used to attend private school, the impact on African American college enrollment is estimated to be 8.7 percentage points, a 24 percent increase.
- Encouraging results are also obtained for full-time college enrollment. Among African Americans, 26 percent of the control group attended college full-time at some point within three years of expected high-school graduation. The impact of an offer of a voucher was to increase this rate by 6.4 percentage points, a 25 percent increment in full-time college enrollment. If the scholarship was used to attend a private school, the impact was about 8 percentage points, an increment of about 31 percent.
To access the full study, go to http://s.chool.ch/Srvift.
About the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice
The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, solely dedicated to advancing Milton and Rose Friedman’s vision of school choice for all children. First established as the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation in 1996, 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 and competition in K-12 education.
|Susan L. Meyers
|National Media Relations Director
|Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice