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Title: Schools and Student Achievement: More Evidence From the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program
Authors: Rouse, Cecilia
Keywords: school vouchers
class size
student achievement
Issue Date: 1-Jan-1998
Citation: The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 113, No. 2, May, 1998
Series/Report no.: Working Papers (Princeton University. Industrial Relations Section) ; 396
Abstract: In this paper I review the existing evaluations of the effect of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program on student achievement. Two of the three existing papers report significant gains in math for the choice students and two of the three studies report no significant effects in reading. I also extend the analysis to compare the achievement of students in the choice schools to students in three different types of public schools: regular attendance area schools, city-wide (or magnet) schools, and attendance area schools with small class sizes and supplemental funding from the state of Wisconsin (“P-5” schools). The results suggest that students in P-5 schools have similar math test score gains to those in the choice schools, and students in the P-5 schools outperform students in the choice schools in reading. In contrast, students in the city-wide schools score no differently than students in the regular attendance area schools in both math and reading. Given that the pupil-teacher ratios in the P-5 and choice schools are significantly smaller than those in the other public schools, one potential explanation for these results is that students perform well in schools with smaller class sizes.
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