Study Links School Choice to Academic Achievement

By Billups, Andrea | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 20, 2000 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Study Links School Choice to Academic Achievement

Billups, Andrea, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)

States that provide families with the greatest amount of educational freedom increase the academic-achievement levels of their students, according to a study released yesterday by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

In states that opened the doors to charter schools, home schooling, vouchers and other school-choice options, students on average outperformed their peers on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and the National Assessment of Education Progress exams (NAEP), said Manhattan Institute senior fellow Jay P. Greene, who conducted the study of the educational climate in the 50 states.

The nation's educationally freest states, according to Mr. Greene's report, are Arizona, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Jersey and Oregon, with Texas picking up the No. 6 slot. States at the bottom of the index included Virginia, Rhode Island, Maryland, Kentucky, Nevada and West Virginia.

Hawaii, which has no charter schools, no voucher programs and only one school district, finished last.

When controlling for variables such as state demographics and per-pupil spending, the degree of openness directly predicts student success, said Mr. Greene, who has completed previous research on school-choice programs in Milwaukee, Cleveland, Charlotte, N.C., and San Antonio.

"Freedom matters," said Mr. Greene, a former government professor who has studied the effect of school choice on civic values and integration. "Simply providing families with additional options in the education of their children has a larger independent effect on student achievement than increasing education spending or reducing class size."

The report, called the Education Freedom Index, ranks states on their openness in five policy categories: charter school availability, vouchers, freedom to home school, ease with which families can choose a different public school district if they want to relocate, and ease with which they can pick a new school district without changing their residence.

States with high and low rankings are diverse geographically, politically and in wealth, the study found.

Mr. Greene illustrated his findings by comparing South Carolina and Texas, which differ in the educational options they provide families. Both have similar median household incomes and both educate a high percentage of minorities.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Study Links School Choice to Academic Achievement


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?