May 3, 2017

Trump praises school voucher program that's not working as promised

Washington Post - President Trump on Wednesday surprised a group of young D.C. students who were at the White House to meet the vice president and education secretary, and he touted the “winning” federally funded school voucher program in Washington. He failed to mention a new Education Department study that found that students in the program get lower standardized test scores than those in what he called “failing” public schools.

Washington Post - Students in the nation’s only federally funded school voucher initiative performed worse on standardized tests within a year after entering D.C. private schools than peers who did not participate, according to a new federal analysis that comes as President Trump is seeking to pour billions of dollars into expanding the private school scholarships nationwide.

The study, released Thursday by the Education Department’s research division, follows several other recent studies of state-funded vouchers in Louisiana, Indiana and Ohio that suggested negative effects on student achievement. Critics are seizing on this data as they try to counter Trump’s push to direct public dollars to private schools.

Vouchers, deeply controversial among supporters of public education, are direct government subsidies parents can use as scholarships for private schools. These payments can cover all or part of the annual tuition bills, depending on the school.

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