The Globe’s June 2 editorial “Romney’s education plan offers serious, debate-worthy proposals” strongly mischaracterized current voucher programs in Milwaukee and Washington, D.C., as yielding “unimpressive results.” The evidence of success of these programs can be clearly seen in the graduation rates of participating students.
The D.C. voucher program is especially impressive on that indicator. The US Department of Education evaluation of the program found that students who used the vouchers graduated at a rate of 91 percent, more than 30 points higher than the graduation rates of D.C. public school students. An evaluation of the Milwaukee program also found higher graduation rates, and that students are more likely to enroll and persist in a four-year college than their public school peers.
Furthermore, the D.C. voucher program boosted student reading scores, and students in the Milwaukee program showed improvement in both reading and science.
For thousands of low-income families across the nation, school choice is a lifeline that rescues children from failing schools and struggling districts. As the bipartisan coalition supporting these initiatives expands, it’s important that politicians, parents, and citizens have a clear picture of the benefits of choice for families in need.
The writer is a senior adviser to the American Federation for Children.