Bill Phillis, founder of the Ohio Coalition for Adequacy and Equity and a vocal supporter of public schools, writes here about an investigation of vouchers by the Cincinnati Enquirer. The report echoed the findings of academic research: students in public schools get higher test scores than those in voucher schools. Vouchers don’t “save” children. They don’t “save” black children. Ohio officials shifted hundreds of millions of dollars away from public schools to support vouchers. Even with the loss of funding, the public schools were superior to the voucher schools. Why don’t Republican politicians in Ohio care about effectiveness and prudence? Why do they continue to fund failure?

Phillis writes:

Cincinnati Enquirer investigation confirms that vouchers do not enhance academic success

The voucher campaigners will have to change their pitch to entice students to their private school classrooms. Confirming what other studies have revealed, the Enquirer research indicates there is a definite public school advantage. “Yet five of the largest districts—Cincinnati, Toledo, Cleveland, Akron and Canton—fared better academically than their local private school rivals, by margins ranging from slight to decisive, according to the Enquirer analysis”, the report states.

The Enquirer research indicates that the voucher system has been least successful in educating black students.

An excerpt from the report regarding city districts other than the urban shows a definite public school advantage that is widespread:

Other areas
Forty cities were included in this category, and a public school district in all but two of the cities outperformed its surrounding private schools.

Zanesville scored about six points higher on state tests than area private schools but had about $675,000 deducted for EdChoice.

Coshocton City Schools saw $115,000 deducted. The district had a 61% proficiency rate, more than 20 points higher than local private schools.

Portsmouth City Schools earned a proficiency rate of 51.9%, 10 points higher than the private schools in its community. Yet Portsmouth City had about $725,000 deducted since 2018.

Sandusky City Schools outperformed its neighboring private schools by 17 percentage points, achieving a proficiency rate of 49%. The district saw $660,000 deducted since 2018.

Van Wert City Schools and Wilmington City Schools were the only two districts in this category that fared worse on state testing than private schools.

In all, public school districts in this category had $3.75 million deducted for EdChoice in the past three years.

A longstanding perception in the past is that there is a private school advantage. Recent research has debunked that perception. The demographic of private schools is typically different from the public system. When the demographics of public schools and private schools are considered, there is a definite public school advantage.

The Cincinnati Enquirer is behind a paywall. The results are posted in the Akron Beacon Journal, not behind a paywall.