School Choice in Washington, D.C.: An Evaluation after One Year.Report as inadecuate

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This evaluation examines the impact of the first 6 to 7 months of the Washington Scholarship Fund (WSF) programs on students in grades 2-8 who had previously been attending public school, but had changed to private ones. More than 6,000 students had applied by lottery to a WSF school voucher program. The evaluation estimates the program's impact on student test scores in reading and mathematics as well as other educational and social outcomes. Private-school African-American students in grades 2-5 outperformed their public-school peers by three national percentile points in reading and seven points in mathematics, but trailed their public-school peers in reading by eight points. No significant differences between the test score performance of non-African-American students in private schools were observed in either reading or mathematics. An appendix contains three parts: (1) a discussion of the procedures for adjusting weights; (2) tables of characteristics for those who did and did not attend the follow-up testing sessions and results of logit models used to estimate weights; and (3) full results from equations estimating impacts on test scores. (DFR)

Descriptors: Black Students, Educational Testing, Educational Vouchers, Elementary Education, Elementary School Mathematics, Minority Groups, Performance Based Assessment, Private Schools, Reading, School Choice, School Desegregation

Author: Wolf, Patrick J.; Howell, William G.; Peterson, Paul E.


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