High Stakes Choice: Achievement and Accountability in the Nation's Oldest Urban Voucher Program

Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(4), December 2014, pp. 437-456. doi: 10.3102/0162373714534521

Posted: 19 Sep 2015

See all articles by John F. Witte

John F. Witte

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Political Science

Patrick Wolf

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Joshua Cowen

Michigan State University - College of Education

Deven Carlson

University of Oklahoma

David J. Fleming

Furman University

Date Written: December 2014

Abstract

This article considers the impact of a high-stakes testing and reporting requirement on students using publicly funded vouchers to attend private schools. We describe how such a policy was implemented during the course of a previously authorized multi-year evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, which provided us with data on voucher students before and after the reform, as well as on public school students who received no new policy treatment. Our results indicate substantial growth for voucher students in the first high-stakes testing year, particularly in mathematics, and for students with higher levels of earlier academic achievement. We discuss these results in the context of both the school choice and accountability literatures.

Keywords: school vouchers, high-stakes testing, accountability

Suggested Citation

Witte, John F. and Wolf, Patrick and Cowen, Joshua and Carlson, Deven and Fleming, David J., High Stakes Choice: Achievement and Accountability in the Nation's Oldest Urban Voucher Program (December 2014). Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(4), December 2014, pp. 437-456. doi: 10.3102/0162373714534521 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2656365

John F. Witte

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Political Science ( email )

1050 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States

Patrick Wolf (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Joshua Cowen

Michigan State University - College of Education ( email )

East Lansing, MI
United States

Deven Carlson

University of Oklahoma ( email )

David J. Fleming

Furman University ( email )

Greenville, SC
United States

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