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Results of a School Voucher Experiment: The Case of Washington, D.C. After Two Years

67 Pages Posted: 29 May 2002  

Patrick Wolf

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Paul E. Peterson

Harvard University - Department of Government (FAS); Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Martin R. West

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Date Written: August 2001

Abstract

In the fall of 1997, the Washington Scholarship Fund (WSF) announced the expansion of a privately funded school voucher program in Washington, D.C. originally established in 1993. In the spring of 1998, over six thousand students from public and private schools applied to the new program; of these initial applicants, over one thousand were offered scholarships - 809 of whom were attending public schools at the time.

WSF awarded scholarships by lottery, thereby making it possible to conduct an evaluation designed as a randomized field trial. This evaluation examines the impact of the first two years of the WSF program on those students who completed the baseline testing, were attending public school, and were in grades 1-7 in the spring of 1998. The evaluation estimates the program's impact on student test scores in reading, math and combined achievement, as well as other educational and social outcomes, as reported by parents and students.

Keywords: Education Policy

Suggested Citation

Wolf, Patrick and Peterson, Paul E. and West, Martin R., Results of a School Voucher Experiment: The Case of Washington, D.C. After Two Years (August 2001). KSG Working Paper No. RWP02-022. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=313822 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.313822

Patrick Wolf

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Paul E. Peterson (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Government (FAS) ( email )

1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-8312 (Phone)
617-496-4428 (Fax)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-8312 (Phone)
617-496-4428 (Fax)

Martin R. West

Harvard Graduate School of Education ( email )

6 Appian Way
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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