In the raging debate over school choice–perhaps the only educational issue that gets heated enough to interest politicians–the combatants, including me, tend to go with our own conclusions rather than the research. Timothy Hacsi in his 2002 book “Children As Pawns” showed this is the way we usually argue about schools in America.
But research is still being done. It is refreshing to find a new book presenting some of the most recent findings, as disturbing as they might be to my favorite biases. “School Choice and School Improvement,” edited by Mark Berends, Marisa Cannata and Ellen B. Goldring, is the latest offering of Vanderbilt University’s National Center on School Choice.
Here are what the data say. Feel free to ignore if it conflicts with your arguments. I certainly will: