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Study: School vouchers have positive effect on college enrollment for African-Americans
August 27th, 2012
02:30 PM ET

Study: School vouchers have positive effect on college enrollment for African-Americans

By Donna Krache, CNN

(CNN) – A recently released study by the Brookings Institution at Harvard has stirred up the debate over school choice and vouchers.

In some districts and states, parents can get vouchers to pay for their children’s education.  Parents may choose to send their children to religious or private schools using the vouchers as payment for tuition.  Much of the research surrounding the effectiveness of vouchers centers on more immediate outcomes, such as test scores.

The Brookings study was based on data collected on students who were recipients of vouchers from the privately funded New York School Choice Scholarships Foundation program.  In 1997, the foundation offered three-year scholarships of up to $1,400 per year to 1,000 low-income families whose children were either entering first grade or were already in public schools in second through fifth grades.  The Brookings study claims to be the first that used “a randomized experiment to measure the impact of school vouchers on college enrollment.”  It also claims to be one of only a few studies to track longer-term outcomes, years after students received their first vouchers.

Overall, the study found no effect on college enrollment, except among African-Americans, where there was significant impact.

“Our estimates indicate that using a voucher to attend private school increased the overall college enrollment rate among African-Americans by 24%,” say Matthew M. Chingos and Paul E. Peterson, the study’s authors.

The study also indicates that enrollment rates in “selective colleges” more than doubled among African-American students who received vouchers.

Read the full post on CNN's Schools of Thought blog

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Filed under: Black in America • Education • Race • Who we are
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. TheVeteran

    No affect on anybody, but African Americans? I smell a rat. Common sense would tell you that the underlying factor is the poor quality of education in poorer school districts. This study indicates that race is more of a factor than the quality of education.

    I would think that any person coming from a poor school district, to a private school would have benefited. The fact that they DID NOT is a red flag on this study. I would like to know why no other racial groups were affected by the vouchers.

    I'm skeptical of this, and look at this as another way to fool people into thinking that the GOP is better for "blacks."

    I'd like to see the details of this study. How it was conducted, as well as the results for other racial groups.

    Why? You know that "race" is made up. So how can a made up (false) construct determine the results of this study?

    August 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • teamafro

      Cosign 100%! ANY child in a poor neighborhood is going to benefit from a voucher to go to a quality school. This is a mask for the real problem – the public education system is leaving the poor (and specifically African American poor) behind. You don't fix that with a voucher, you MAN UP and fix the public education system.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |