Next year our son will be attending Shoreland Lutheran High School using School Choice. I read the article in the Racine Journal Times on April 24th about Senator Lehman “pouncing on school testing scores.” He says that the voucher programs are underperforming. I went to the Department of Public Instruction's website to look at the information Senator Lehman was referring to and the chart had double asterisks that indicated that both of the years tested very small numbers of students making changes and comparison of results unreliable.
Then I decided to do more research...
On April 18, 2013, Greg Forster, Ph.D. posted a compilation of the Empirical Studies on School Choice. The study showed that School Choice had a positive effect on the academic outcomes of choice participants AND public schools. It
has had a positive effect on fiscal impact on taxpayers, racial segregation in schools, and civic values and practices. According to Forster, 'These results are not difficult to explain. School choice improves academic outcomes by allowing students to find the schools that best match their needs, and by introducing healthy competition that keeps schools mission-focused. It saves money by eliminating administrative bloat and rewarding good stewardship of resources. It breaks down the barriers of residential segregation, drawing students together from diverse communities.'
I also just recently read an article in THE CHOICE, Private Schools Report to the Community 2013. They reported that children in the Choice program are coming to school more than 94% of the time and that the average School Choice high school grade point average is 2.74, a B-! The Shoreland student who was interviewed in this report used to have a 1.0 grade point average at Park HS and now has a 2.2 at Shoreland! Because the Choice Program is so new, test scores are showing a baseline from which the students will grow. These students who would normally be “trapped” in failing schools have opportunities to thrive in accredited schools with great reputations and total accountability. Did you know that every last dollar is accounted for and audits are done by independent CPAs. From what I've seen money has not helped our local public schools' performance. I'm glad to be able to send my child to a successful, accredited school. I think this program can only benefit Wisconsin. The goal is to give children an excellent education and a springboard for success in life. Let parents choose where they want that to take place. This is what our public school system needs to become more competitive and use our tax dollars more wisely.