The Agenda

New Research on the Impact of Vouchers

Paul E. Peterson and Matthew Chingos have released a study analyzing the results of a 1997 New York city voucher experiment:

Overall, we find no significant effects of the offer of a school voucher on college enrollment. However, we find evidence of large, significant impacts on African Americans, and fairly small but statistically insignificant impacts on Hispanic students. A voucher offer is shown to have increased the overall (parttime and full-time) enrollment rate of African Americans by 7.1 percentage points, an increase of 20 percent. If the offered scholarship was actually used to attend private school, the impact on African American college enrollment is estimated to be 8.7 percentage points, a 24 percent increase.

Peterson and Chingos offer a number of hypotheses regarding the stark difference in the impact of vouchers on black vs. Hispanic students, e.g.:

We find suggestive evidence that educational and religious reasons may explain the different findings for African American and Hispanic students. Although it would be incorrect to say that educational objectives were not uppermost in the minds of respondents from both ethnic groups (as respondents from both groups made it clear that such was the case), the weight given different objectives appears to have differed in some respects. African American students were especially at risk of not going on to college, and families sought a private school—even one outside their religious tradition—that would help their child overcome that disadvantage. Hispanic students were less at risk of not enrolling in college and likely sought a voucher for some combination of religious and educational benefits.

It is worth remembering that New York city’s black and Hispanic populations are very diverse, and that its Hispanic population is far more Caribbean than the U.S. Hispanic population as a whole. Results that obtain in New York city might not apply elsewhere. 

Reihan Salam is president of the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith Resigns

Fox News Channel's chief anchor, Shepard Smith, announced on air Friday that he would be resigning from his post after 23 years with the network. “This is my last newscast here,” said Smith. “Recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay, they obliged.” He ... Read More
NR Webathon

Don’t Let Michael Mann Succeed

I  enjoyed the running joke of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce in the great Dickens novel Bleak House, back when I first read it. Little did I know that one day I and the magazine that I love would effectively be caught up in a version of that interminable case, courtesy of a litigious climate scientist with zero regard ... Read More
White House

What Is Impeachment For?

W hat is impeachment for? Seems like a simple question. Constitutionally speaking, it also appears to have a simple answer: to cite and remove from power a president guilty of wrongdoing. Aye, there’s the rub. What sort of wrongdoing warrants removal from power? I’d wager that the flames of ... Read More
Elections

Beto Proposes to Oppress Church with State

Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign is within the margin of error of non-existence, but in his failure he has found a purpose: expressing the Democratic id. His latest bid for left-wing love came at a CNN forum on gay rights, where he said that churches that oppose same-sex marriage should have to pay ... Read More