Remember how voucher advocates claim that vouchers will “save” poor kids from “failing public schools”? T’aint so.

Stephen Dyer compared the progress of Ohio students in voucher schools to those in public schools. Guess what? The longer students are enrolled in voucher schools, the farther behind they fall.

He writes:

One thing you’d expect to hear a lot from voucher proponents is that students taking private school tuition subsidies do better the longer they’re in the private schools taxpayers are paying.

I mean, assuming these “choices” are so vastly superior to “failing” public schools, right?

Yet you never hear that argument. Now I know why: according to state test data, the longer students take vouchers, the worse they do on state tests — in some cases a lotworse. Especially in high school.

Here is how students perform on state High School proficiency rates, depending on how long they’ve been taking vouchers. You can see pretty clearly that especially in English and Math, students do markedly worse if they’ve been taking vouchers for 3 plus years than they do if they’ve only been taking it for a year.

This provides some pretty compelling evidence that students taking vouchers are better prepared by public schools, but once they enter the private system, that success wanes. Only in Social Studies is there an increase, but it’s only a 0.9% increase. Math drops by nearly 1/4. Overall, there’s, on average, a 12.1% drop in proficiency rates the longer a high school student takes a voucher….

Let me put it simply:

  • Generally, Voucher students do worse on state tests the longer they take vouchers.
  • The Black-White achievement gap is much greater among voucher students than public school students.
  • Private Schools that accept Vouchers take a Whiter population of students than the districts from whence the students come.

I just have one simple question: How is it again that Vouchers provide “better” opportunities for students of color who are being “failed” by public schools, as voucher proponents continuously claim?

Because Ohio data sure suggest that students of color are best served by their local public schools, not the private schools who are more reluctant to take them, even with significant taxpayer-funded tuition subsidies.