More bad news for the voucher advocates.

Another study reports that students in Indiana who used vouchers lose ground academically.

The authors are R. Joseph Waddington and Mark Berends.

Here is the abstract:

This paper examines the impact of the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program on student achievement for low‐income students in upper elementary and middle school who used a voucher to transfer from public to private schools during the first four years of the program. We analyzed student‐level longitudinal data from public and private schools taking the same statewide standardized assessment. Overall, voucher students experienced an average achievement loss of 0.15 SDs in mathematics during their first year of attending a private school compared with matched students who remained in a public school. This loss persisted regardless of the length of time spent in a private school. In English/Language Arts, we did not observe statistically meaningful effects. Although school vouchers aim to provide greater educational opportunities for students, the goal of improving the academic performance of low‐income students who use a voucher to move to a private school has not yet been realized in Indiana.

This study was published on the same day that Patrick Wolf of the University of Arkansas (funded by the Walton Family Foundation) posted an article at the conservative Education Next site (funded by the Hoover Institution) saying that vouchers have not been discredited by a recent article in the prestigious Education Researcher by Robert Pianta and Arya Ansari (which demonstrated that private schools do not get better results when demographics are controlled). You remember Patrick Wolf. He was the “independent” evaluator of school vouchers in Milwaukee and in D.C. Maybe he will review the multiple studies of vouchers from Ohio, Louisiana, D.C., and Indiana, all reaching the same conclusion: Vouchers do not help poor kids.

From Politico Morning Education:

UPDATED STUDY BEARS BAD NEWS FOR INDIANA VOUCHER PROGRAM: The final version of a high-profile study of Indiana’s private school voucher program finds that voucher students saw a drop in math scores and those losses persisted “regardless of the length of time spent in a private school.”

— That finding is markedly different from an earlier version of the study released last year, which found initial drops in math scores, but students who remained in private schools for three or four years made up “what they initially lost relative to their public school peers.”

— The study was conducted by Joseph Waddington of the University of Kentucky and Mark Berends from the University of Notre Dame. They released an early version last year after Chalkbeat obtained a copy through a state public records request. The early findings prompted voucher opponents to slam the drop in math scores while supporters touted the improvements students made over time

— But amid rounds of revision with the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management — where the research published this week — Waddington said they revised their statistical approach. More students who participated in the voucher program over the first four years were included in the analysis and as a result, researchers said they were able to estimate the effects of the program with a greater degree of precision. And that meant bad news for the program’s overall effect on student achievement.