Ohio Roundtable: The Public Square - Tax Day 2001
School Choice Results
The latest test results are in on the Cleveland School
A researcher from the University of Indiana was hired by
the Ohio Department of Education to study the Cleveland School Choice Plan. Specifically
the idea was to track kids who entered the program in Kindergarten as they progress
through their grade school years. Recently one installment of that study was
released. It deals with test results from about 800 kids of the 4000 in the school choice
The study reveals that kids in the program start out a
little faster in first grade than their public school counterparts. After three
consecutive years children in the school choice program are slightly ahead of their public
school peers in basic learning skills of math, reading, and language. So is this a big
deal? Not exactly; at least not yet.
The purpose of the school choice program was never to beat
the public schools in test scores. The purpose was to give parents the right to choose the
best school for their children and to fund that program in a more efficient manner.
The Indiana study clearly points out that it is still way too soon to discern the
real benefit of this program but once again, in spite of the critics, the results show
that school choice is working and still at less cost than traditional public education. So
the story of the Cleveland School Choice plan continues. More research is needed and more
is being done.
One thing the Indiana study did conclude for certain was
that kids in the School Choice plan tended to stay in their given schools longer than
public school students. In other words -parents who started in a school of choice tend to
keep their children there. Obviously for many parents school choice is working as well.