Do School Vouchers Work? Milwaukee’s Experiment Suggests an Answer

A Wall Street Journal analysis of the data suggests vouchers worked best when enrollment from voucher students was kept low. As the percentage of voucher students rises, the returns diminish until the point when there is little difference between the performance of public and private institutions. The vast majority of private schools participating in the program today have high percentages of publicly funded students.

.. The city’s nearly 29,000 voucher students, on average, have performed about the same as their peers in public schools on state exams, the analysis shows. The successful voucher students, who often performed better than their public-school peers, were mainly found at private schools that worked to balance numbers of voucher students and paying ones.

.. “The schools that have 20% to 30% voucher kids and 70% to 80% fee-paying kids, they look more like the private schools that we sort of put on a pedestal—that have very ambitious programs,” 

.. “Ones that enroll a very high percent of voucher students tend to be low-resourced.”

.. President Donald Trump has called for allocating $250 million for scholarships for low-income students to attend private schools, part of a plan to eventually pump $20 billion of federal money into school-choice measures, including vouchers.

.. Some educators suggest the voucher students who score well do so precisely because they attend private schools with lower proportions of their peers. They benefit from superior resources and support services funded by wealthier families

.. At Marquette University High School, a popular all-boys private school where voucher students notch high state-exam scores, annual tuition was $12,445 this past school year, not including books and fees—about $5,000 more than the voucher program pays to the school. 

.. Public-school officials say they have greater expenses, such as for transportation and for providing services to special-needs students



No Wonder Millennials Hate Capitalism

The anti-Communist Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation was alarmed to find in a recent survey that 44 percent of millennials would prefer to live in a socialist country, compared with 42 percent who want to live under capitalism.

..  But given the increasingly oligarchic nature of our economy, it’s not surprising that for many young people, capitalism looks like the god that failed.

..  the rich people who would benefit from the measures passed by the House and the Senate tend to be older (and whiter) than the population at large.

Younger people would foot the bill, either through higher taxes, diminished public services or both. They stand to inherit an even more stratified society than the one they were born into.

.. there’s also an ideology at work, one that sees the rich as more productive and deserving than others.
.. consider what Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, told The Des Moines Register about the need to repeal the estate tax, which falls only on heirs of multimillionaires and billionaires. “I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies,” he said.
.. Senator Orrin Hatch ..  He went on to rant against the poor: “I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves — won’t lift a finger — and expect the federal government to do everything.” It was unclear whether he was talking about the nearly nine million children covered through CHIP or their parents.
.. You don’t have to want to abolish capitalism to understand why the prospect is tempting to a generation that’s being robbed.