Josh Cowen is the voucher lobby’s worst nightmare. He was a participant in voucher research from its beginnings. He knows the research as well as anyone in the country. He knows that vouchers have failed. And unlike many others in this tight-knit world, he declined to climb aboard the gravy train funded by billionaires. He determined to tell the truth: vouchers hurt kids.

In this article, as in many others that he has written, he explains that there is no upside to vouchers. They subsidize kids already in private school. They harm the kids who leave public schools. They defund the public schools that the vast majority of children attend.

He begins:

What if I told you there is a policy idea in education that, when implemented to its full extent, caused some of the largest academic drops ever measured in the research record?

What if I told you that 40 percent of schools funded under that policy closed their doors afterward, and that kids in those schools fled them at about a rate of 20 percent per year?

What if I told you that some the largest financial backers of that idea also put their money behind election denial and voter suppression—groups still claiming Donald Trump won the 2020 election. Would you believe what those groups told you about their ideas for improving schools?

What if I told you that idea exists, that it’s called school vouchers, and despite all of the evidence against it the idea persists and is even expanding?

And that’s only the beginning.