NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Vouchers Help Minority Students

May 24, 2002

Education vouchers produce better students and are particularly beneficial to minorities, says school-choice expert and Harvard University Professor Paul E. Peterson. According to his research, published in his latest book, "The Education Gap," private scholarship programs have been particularly effective in raising the academic achievement of low-income African-American students.

  • After three years in the New York City-based School Choice Scholarship Foundation program, scores for scholarship/voucher students increased 9.2 National Percentile Ranking (NPR) points on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills compared to those who were not offered the scholarship (the "control group").
  • In three years, the effect of these scholarships/vouchers cut in half the achievement gap between black and white students.
  • Even those who attended a choice school for only part of the three years performed better than their counterparts who stayed in the public schools; for example, the NPR scores of African-American students who attended a private school for at least one year increased by nearly 7.6 points compared to those students who did not attend a choice school at all.

Source: "New Research Finds School Voucher Programs Raise Academic Achievement," White House Bulletin, May 22, 2002, Bulletin News Network.


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