Saturday, August 25, 2012

Study: Black students who use vouchers more likely to go to college

By Steve Gunn
NEW YORK – School voucher programs are apparently worthwhile for African-American students.
A new study, conducted by researchers at Harvard University and the Brookings Institute, traced as many as 1,000 New York City students who participated in the city’s School Choice Scholarships Foundation Program, starting in 1997.
While the study showed no overall impact on college enrollment for the entire voucher group, it showed that 34 percent of African-American students who took advantage of the program enrolled in college full-time within three years of graduating from high school. Only 26 percent of black students who did not use a voucher attended college full-time within three years.
“Once again what we are seeing is that when the most rigorous, randomized studies are conducted, the evidence is loud and clear,” said Robert Enlow, president and CEO of The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. “Students win and have a better shot at not only getting a good K-12 education but now we see a chance that it translates to the possibility of a great college education.”
The study’s findings are important news for the Obama administration, which has recently been focused on improving educational opportunities for black students. The president has specifically said he wants more black kids in college, yet he continues to side with the teachers unions in their opposition to vouchers.
We fail to see how Obama could hope to  get more black students into college, considering that many of them are stuck in failing inner-city schools. A lot of these kids learn little or nothing in these dropout factories, so the chance of them advancing to college is pretty slim.
With new evidence showing that a little bit of school choice can get many more black kids into college, the president should rethink his position and start encouraging voucher programs, particularly in the poorest urban neighborhoods of the nation
Everyone knows poor kids do better when they can escape their neighborhoods. What better way for them to escape than to use a government voucher to attend an outstanding private academic institution?
School choice is truly the future. Defenders of the failed status quo should realize this and get out of the way of progress.

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