Education reform: The 'choice' is clear
Imagine a federally funded education program that not only delivers what's intended but provides a 162 percent return on investment. Incidentally, this would be the same initiative that President Obama unsuccessfully tried to quash in 2009.
For every dollar spent on the District of Columbia's Opportunity Scholarship Program ($8,500 per grade-school student, $12,000 per high-schooler), it has produced $2.62 in benefits, according to a new study by two University of Arkansas researchers for the peer-reviewed journal Education Finance and Policy.
Also among their findings, the researchers report a graduation rate of 82 percent among participants in the school choice program compared with an abysmal 60 percent for D.C. public school students.
Multiplying the additional number of grads by the value of a high school diploma yields a total benefit of more than $183 million for a program that costs taxpayers $70 million. Never mind the additional savings realized by reducing truancy and delinquency.
Yet Mr. Obama was ready to junk the D.C. scholarship program — vouchers being a pox to the federal edtocracy — until it was reauthorized as part of the budget compromise of 2011.
And what Obama advocates is another early-childhood baby-sitting intervention like Head Start, which, by the government's own accounting, has been an abysmal failure.
What “works” for students, Mr. President, are the competition and academic rewards achieved through school choice.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Open records: Hold the phone?
- The atom smasher
- The Arneson firing: Legally dubious
- U.N. Watch: Climate games
- Greensburg Tuesday takes
- Benchmarking questions: Fueling perversion
- Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
- ObamaCare fallout: Here comes the stick
- Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
- The Box
- Snow shovelers needed: A call for volunteers