Focus Point - Choice StudyCommentary by Pete du Pont
June 19, 2001
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. A new study by Harvard economist Caroline Hoxby concludes school choice programs - specifically Michigan and Arizona charters and the Milwaukee voucher program - improved not only the choice schools, but also the public schools.
Productivity, defined as student performance per dollar spent, has fallen 65 percent in 30 years. But Hoxby found public schools facing choice school competition had an impressive productivity response. In fact, the schools facing the most competition showed the most improvement.
So why isn't this better known? That's the other half of the story.
I had to read about Hoxby's study in a Wall Street Journal editorial lamenting the fact that - except for the Milwaukee Press - the story had been ignored by the national media. While recent stories about a few charter failures were widely touted, the Hoxby study - was spiked.
So, consider it reported. I only wish the national media had done their job.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, the beginning of the end of social security.