NEPC Review: Accountability and Private-School Choice (Manhattan Institute, October 2021)
A report released by the Manhattan Institute addresses the question of how private school voucher programs should be regulated. That is, if private schools are to receive public funds, what accountability mechanisms can fairly and reasonably safeguard taxpayer dollars? The report advocates for relaxing accountability mechanisms that presently constrain some voucher programs, asserting that “more and better” private schools will participate in response, benefitting students academically. Such claims, however, are supported by a selective reading and intentional misreading of educational research. Insofar as that is the case, the report merely repeats well-worn ideological positions and neither advances what we know about the challenge of regulating private schools nor offers useful information for policy decisions.