NEPC Review: Better Data, Better Decisions: Informing School Choosers to Improve Education Markets (American Enterprise Institute , ) and A Crisis We Can Solve: Connecticut's Failing Schools and Their Impact (ConnCAN, )
The two reports reviewed here advocate for school choice as a mechanism for improving educational outcomes. The ConnCAN report bases its claims on largely anecdotal evidence, making many unsubstantiated claims. It is merely a choice advocacy document and is therefore of little value to serious policy reform conversations or academic researchers. The report from the American Enterprise Institute is more interesting. It is grounded in solid scholarship and data from existing choice research as well as research conducted by its author. It makes useful suggestions regarding how choice might be more effectively implemented. However, like the ConnCAN report, it too ultimately makes unsubstantiated claims about the power of choice to reform schools and to improve educational outcomes. The AEI report provides a useful overview and analysis of the choice literature and is valuable for those seeking a deeper understanding of school choice, although it overreaches in its claims regarding the power of choice and of the market to reform schools and produce better educational outcomes.