Review of Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Impacts After Three Years

The third-year evaluation of the federally funded Washington, D.C. voucher program shows that low-income students offered vouchers in the first two years of the program had modestly higher reading scores after three years but showed no significant difference in mathematics. The authors, however, interpret the results in ways that raise questions, given some of their own findings. The report downplays the implications of the subgroup results showing that higher reading scores for those offered vouchers were concentrated in among certain groups of students. Further, some of the most interesting results of the study were related to student choice behavior rather than increases in test scores. The report could have done far better in analyzing the results of the experiment by presenting them in a more nuanced fashion and by discussing the possibility of varied effects with different populations and in different contexts.

Suggested Citation: Carnoy, M. (2009). Review of “Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Impacts After Three Years.” Boulder and Tempe: Education and the Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit. Retrieved [date] from http://epicpolicy.org/thinktank/review-evaluation-dc-opportunity

Document Reviewed:

Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Impacts After Three Years

Patrick Wolf, Babette Gutmann, Michael Puma, Brian Kisida, Lou Rizzo, Nada Eissa
School Choice Demonstration Project
Institute of Education Sciences