School Choice vs. School Choice

Policy Backgrounders | Education

No. 155
Friday, April 27, 2001
by John C. Goodman and Matt Moore


  1. See Shawna Grosskopf, Kathy Hayes, Lori Taylor, and William Webber, "Allocative Inefficiency and School Competition," Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Working Paper #97-08, 1997.
  2. That premium may be a bargain if it is compared to the present value of 12 years of tuition at an expensive private school.
  3. For more information, see Samuel Casey Carter, No Excuses: Lessons from 21High-Performing, High Poverty Schools (Washington, D.C.: Heritage Foundation, 2001).
  4. America's worst schools are found in high poverty areas, typically in inner cities. For more information on the association between high-poverty urban areas and low student performance, see Education Week, "Quality Counts 1998: The Urban Challenge,"
  5. "Choice in Education: Opportunities for Texas," National Center for Policy Analysis and the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Education Task Force Report, March 1990.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. "Prospects: The Congressionally Mandated Study of Educational Growth and Opportunity," 1997,
  9. Education Week, "Quality Counts."
  10. Per pupil expenditures rose 58 percent in real terms during the 1960s, 27 percent in the 1970s, and 29 percent during the 1980s and 1990s. In dollar terms, average real spending per pupil in public schools climbed from just under $2,000 to just over $6,000 from 1960 to 1996. At the same time, the number of pupils per teacher declined from 26 to 17 and salaries for instructional staff increased from $25,206 to $39,451. However, despite the additional resources, test scores continuously declined. Eric A. Hanushek has conducted several surveys of most of the recently published empirical literature and determined that there is no clear relationship between school expenditures and student performance. For more information, see Eric A. Hanushek, Steven G. Rivkin and Lori L. Taylor, "Aggregation and the Estimated Effects of School Resources," Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 78, No. 4, November 1996, pp. 611-27.
  11. Kate Zernike, "Gap between Best and Worst Widens on U.S. Reading Test," New York Times, April 7, 2000, p. A1.
  12. bid.
  13. Duke Helfand and Martha Groves, "Gap Grows between Best, Worst Readers," Dallas Morning News, April 9, 2001, p. A1.
  14. Virginia Walden, "The Case for School Choice in Washington, D.C.," in John C. Goodman and Fritz E. Steiger, eds., An Education Agenda: Let Parents Choose Their Children's School (Dallas, Texas: National Center for Policy Analysis, 2001), p. 98.
  15. "Children in Crisis: Foundation for the Future," report of the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority, November 1996.
  16. Paul Ciotti, "Money and School Performance: Lessons from the Kansas City Desegregation Experiment," Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 298, March 16, 1998
  17. "Building on Progress: How Ready Are States to Implement President Bush's Education Plan?" Education Commission of the States Special Report, Revised March 14, 2001.
  18. Roy Appleton, "Charter Schools Face Renewal Test," Dallas Morning News, December 31, 2000.
  19. Stacy Smith, quoted in Marc Fisher, "To Each His Own," Washington Post, April 8, 2001, p. W28.
  20. Author's interview with Dr. Judith Stein, Executive Director of Magnet Schools of America, a clearing house for information on magnet schools, April 10, 2001.
  21. "Overview of Public Elementary and Secondary Schools and Districts: School Year 1998-1999," National Center for Education Statistics, Statistics in Brief, June 2000,
  22. Ibid.
  24. Lisa G. Keegan, "Tuition Tax Credits," in Goodman and Steiger, eds., An Education Agenda, p. 74.
  25. Robert C. Enlow, "State by State Round-Up," Friedman Report, Milton & Rose Friedman Foundation, Issue 13, 2001.
  26. Several school choice programs distribute vouchers by lottery, including those in Milwaukee; Washington, D.C.; Dayton, Ohio; and New York City.
  27. Jay P. Greene, Paul E. Peterson and Jiangtao Du, "Effectiveness of School Choice: The Milwaukee Experiment," Harvard University Program in Education Policy and Governance, Occasional Paper 97-1, March 1997,
  28. Ibid.
  29. Cecilia E. Rouse, "Private School Vouchers and Student Achievement: An Evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program," Quarterly Journal of Economics, Princeton Department of Economics, January 1998.
  30. School Choice: Opponents of Program Have Used His Earlier Work to Argue It Has Failed," Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, January 9, 2000, p. 1.
  31. William G. Howell, Patrick Wolf, Paul Peterson and David Campbell, "Test Score Effects of School Vouchers in Dayton, Ohio, New York City and Washington, D.C.: Evidence from Randomized Field Trials," Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance, August 2000.
  32. Paul E. Peterson, "Impact of School Vouchers on Students and Families," in Goodman and Steiger, eds., An Education Agenda, p. 40.
  33. Prepared for the Conference on Charter Schools, Vouchers and Public Education, sponsored by the Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Cambridge, Mass., March 8-10, 2000.
  34. Ibid.
  35. Patrick Wolf, William Howell and Paul Peterson, "School Choice in Washington, D.C.: An Evaluation after One Year," Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance, February 2000.
  36. Jay P. Greene, "A Survey of Results from Voucher Experiments: Where We Are and What We Know," Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance, March 13, 2000.
  37. Ibid.
  38. Jay P. Greene, "The Effect of School Choice: An Evaluation of the Charlotte Children's Scholarship Fund Program," Manhattan Institute, Civic Report No. 12, August 2000.
  39. Ibid.
  40. Paul E. Peterson, William G. Howell and Jay P. Greene, "An Evaluation of the Cleveland Voucher Program after Two Years," Harvard University Program on Education Policy and Governance, June 1999.
  41. Kim K. Metcalf, "Evaluation of the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Grant Program, 1996-99," Indiana Center for Evaluation, Indiana University, September 1999.
  42. Joshua Angrist, Eric Bettinger, Erik Bloom, Elizabeth King and Michael Kremer. "Vouchers for Private Schooling in Colombia: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," Massachusetts Institute of Technology, November 2000.
  43. National Center for Education Statistics, 1998,
  44. Janet R. Beales and Thomas F. Bertonneau, "Do Private Schools Serve Difficult-to-Educate Students?" Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the Reason Foundation, October 1997.
  45. Dorman E. Cordell, "Choice and Accountability: Texas Leads the Way," National Center for Policy Analysis Brief Analysis No. 259, March 10, 1998.
  46. Ibid.
  47. Peterson, Howell and Greene, "An Evaluation of the Cleveland Voucher Program after Two Years."
  48. Nina S. Rees, "Public School Benefits of Private School Vouchers," Policy Review No. 93, January-February 1999.
  49. Susan Lee and Christine Foster, "Trustbusters," Forbes, June 2, 1997, pp. 146-52.
  50. Howard Fuller, Introduction to Carol Innerst, "Competing to Win: How Florida's A+ Plan Has Triggered Public School Reform," Center for Education Reform, Washington, D.C., April 2000,
  51. Jay P. Greene, "An Evaluation of the Florida A+ Accountability and School Choice Program," Manhattan Institute Center for Civic Innovation, February 2001.
  52. Innerst, "Competing to Win."
  53. "The ABCs of School Choice," pamphlet, Milton & Rose Friedman Foundation (no date).
  54. Innerst, "Competing to Win."
  55. Dorman E. Cordell, "The Voucher Wars," National Center for Policy Analysis, Brief Analysis, No. 264, April 29, 1998.
  56. "Cleveland Schools Profit from Scholarship Program," Policy Note, Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, June 1997.
  57. Lee Cullum, "Dallas Schools Ready to Become Free," Dallas Morning News, April 2, 2001, p. 13A.
  58. Ibid.
  59. Jay P. Greene, "Civic Values in Public and Private Schools," in Learning from School Choice (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1998), pp. 96-97.
  60. Ibid.
  61. Jay P. Greene and Nicole Mellow, "Integration Where It Counts: A Study of Racial Integration in Public and Private School Lunchrooms," Texas Education Review, Spring 2000.
  62. Joe Williams, "Audit Dispels School Choice Myths," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 3, 2000.
  63. Greene, "A Survey of Results from Voucher Experiments," p. 21.
  64. Ibid.
  65. Ibid.
  66. Texas Education Agency Online, "Texas Charter Schools: FAQs."
  67. Cordell, "Choice and Accountability."
  68. Lewis Solomon and Mary Gifford, "Teacher Accountability in Charter Schools," National Center for Policy Analysis and CEO America, Brief Analysis No. 285, March 1, 1999.
  69. Fisher, "To Each His Own."

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