These findings are supported by previous research. In another study analysing student results in different Swedish municipalities, researchers found a correlation between test scores and the number of independent schools available: the greater the number, the higher the scores. Significantly, these gains were not concentrated among the students in independent schools, which suggests that there are positive effects from competition. A high number of independent schools in a municipality seems to put pressure on all schools to improve their standards.
First, vouchers appear to have had small but positive effects on educational outcomes. Swedish students thus perform terribly in spite of school choice—not because of it. Second, since the effects are small and hindered by problematic changes to curriculum , vouchers may be useful but they are no silver bullet. Join them. Subscribe to The Economist today.
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3 Reasons America Needs School Choice
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Other states have allowed charter schools and choice among public schools. In some other countries, school choice is commonplace.
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Americans might be surprised to learn that in countries such as Australia, Sweden, and the Netherlands parents can choose private, even religious, schools without incurring any financial penalty. Today, in many ex-communist countries, parents have more educational freedom than American parents. In those countries, parents can choose private schools and also work with others to create new independent schools. As we move toward more school choice in America, we ought to be aware of the lessons offered by the experiences of other countries. What school choice policies are most effective?
How well do private schools serve the poor? Does school choice lead to social divisions along religious, economic, or ethnic lines? What policies are necessary to promote the widest selection of education opportunities for the largest number of children? Also, what controls and regulations are most harmful to the development of a competitive education. An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while. No cover image.
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