Tag Archives: Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

Milwaukee School Choice Research Yields a Lot of Interesting Results

School choice doesn’t provide all the answers to our education challenges, but it’s becoming very hard to deny that choice in itself yields some positive results. Look at the new results (PDF) from the University of Arkansas’s School Choice Demonstration Project for the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP). Milwaukee isn’t just famous for that show about two women who work as brewery bottlecappers. The Wisconsin city is the granddaddy of school choice programs, and probably the best place for in-depth studies of all sorts of issues surrounding choice. And the School Choice Demonstration Project has brought together some of the best and most experienced education researchers – including Patrick Wolf, John Witte, and Jay Greene – to do just that. The series of studies released this week focus on everything from fiscal impacts to parental satisfaction to academic growth and real estate prices. Some of the more interesting findings:


Milwaukee Voucher Schools Graduate at a Higher Rate than Public Schools

Do private school vouchers help kids graduate from high school? A new study about the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) suggests that might be the case: In “Graduation Rates for Choice and Public School Students in Milwaukee: 2003-2007,” John Robert Warren, Ph.D., compares graduation data for students in the MPCP and the MPS. Dr.Warren concludes that “students in the MPCP are more likely to graduate from high school than MPS students.” According to Warren, had MPS graduation rates equaled those of MPCP students, there would have been almost 20% more public high school graduates between 2003 and 2007. Over the five years studied, that would have meant nearly 3,000 additional MPS graduates. The very smart Jay Greene also points out the need for caution: Warren acknowledges “he can’t say whether the voucher program caused their higher graduation rate.” But our Governor – who has promised to cut the state’s dropout rate in half – ought to pay attention over the next few years, as Jay Greene is working on a study that will help answer the question: Do private school vouchers help kids graduate from high school?