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Pandemic-Era Academic Setbacks Won’t Be Fixed by School Choice

BOULDER, CO (November 22, 2022)—A new Buckeye Institute report recommends sweeping K-12 policy reforms in response to COVID-19 academic disruptions and what the report asserts to be declining confidence in public schools. However, a review of the report criticizes the analysis and cautions against its policy recommendations.

Professor David S. Knight of the University of Washington reviewed #StudentsFirst: Empowering Parents to Help Students Regain Lost Learning and found its policy recommendations to rely on broad, untested assumptions.

The report recommends the state rapidly expand three types of school choice or voucher-like policies—education savings accounts, public school choice, and tax credits for private school scholarship programs—combined with fiscal transparency.

The report includes a discussion of research, referencing several studies, but it fails to support its recommendations with direct evidence of benefits or consider potential unintended consequences, such as reduced student achievement, increased racial segregation, and reduced funding for public schools. Instead, the report relies on tenuous assumptions about predicted impacts of its favored policy reforms.

Professor Knight thus concludes that policymakers who read this report should carefully consider the assumptions embedded in the policy recommendations, the unintended consequences that may arise from adopting them, and the availability of alternative policy options.

Find the review, by David S. Knight, at:

Find #StudentsFirst: Empowering Parents to Help Students Regain Lost Learning, written by Greg R. Lawson and published by The Buckeye Institute, at:

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