Periodically, the Network for Public Education sponsors a conversation with an important voice in education policy. On January 11, I interviewed Josh Cowen, Professor of Education Policy at Michigan State University.

Josh has been an insider in voucher research for almost 20 years. It’s a small club, and he knows the research and the researchers. Josh came to the conclusion that vouchers have been a disaster for the students who leave public schools, supposedly to be “saved” by them.

But he points out that 70-80% of the students who use vouchers were never enrolled in public schools. Many return to the public schools. The political pressure for vouchers comes from politicians and parents seeking a subsidy for students already attending private and religious schools. The claim that they will help “save kids from failing schools” is a hoax to cover up the real purpose of vouchers: to transfer funds to private and religious schools.

The discussion was oversubscribed. Many people who wanted to watch the zoom were turned away. You can watch the recording here. The link is at the bottom of the page.