"In 2009. the same research learn released another study that
found no major differences between students in voucher schools
and those in regular public schools. The research group included
the strongly pro-voucher Jay P. Greene of the University of Arkansas
and John Witte, who was considered a critic of vouchers. The
researchers found "no overall statistically significant differences
between MPCP [voucher] and MPS [Milwaukee Public Schools] student achievement growth in either math or reading one year after
they were carefully matched to each other." Perhaps there would be
different outcome's in the future. but this was not the panacea that
voucher supporters had promised and hoped for.
The first evaluation [of the Washington, D.C. voucher program] in 2008
reported that in the first two years of the program (2004 and 2005).
there was no statistically significant difference in test scores of reading
and math between students who won the lottery and those who
entered the lottery but did not win. However. the third-year evaluation
of the voucher program (released in 20(9) found that there was
"a statistically significant positive impact on reading test scores. but
not math test scores." The reading scores represented a gain of more
than three months of learning"
Supporters of vouchers were ecstatic about the third·year evaluation
because at last they had hard evidence that vouchers would
benefit students. They glossed over the finding that these gains \vere
limited to certain groups of students. The students who experienced
gains in reading were those who entered the program from schools
that were not in need of improvement, those who entered the program
in the upper two-thirds of the test score distribution. and those
who entered in grades K-8. Females also seemed to benefit, though
that finding was not as robust as the others. The groups that did
not experience improvement in reading (or math) were boys, secondary
students. students from SINI [Schools in Need of Improvement] schools. and sludents in the lowest third of the test score distribution. The students who did not
see any gains were those in the highest-priority groups. the ones for
whom the program was designed: those with the lowest test scores
and those who had previously attended SINI schools."