Betsy Devos defends DC school choice program, slams teacher unions for blocking progress | 1/23/2019 | Staff
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Education Secretary Betsy Devos celebrated school choice and the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program Wednesday despite a federal analysis showing that low-income students who used vouchers to attend private schools in the nation’s capital under the program showed significantly lower math scores after two years.

“Naturally there have been lots and lots of surveys and different studies done, both on the D.C. program as well as choice programs across the country and everybody wants to constantly refer to the one where students especially in math, showed a little dip after their first two years. Well think about it, if a kid is struggling in [a] school to which they are assigned, they change schools and start something new. Anytime we change anything, it takes a little while to get up to speed,” Devos said in a discussion with Kay Coles James, president of The Heritage Foundation, celebrating the program’s 15th anniversary.

OSP - Vouchers - Scholarships - Children - Washington

The OSP, also called vouchers, offers scholarships to low-income children in Washington, D.C., to attend a participating private school of their choice. It is funded under the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act, and is the only federally-funded voucher program in the country. It was enacted by Congress as part of a three-sector approach encompassing traditional public schools, charter schools and private schools to improve educational outcomes in the district.

Under the program, equal funds are allocated to support traditional public schools, public charter schools, and opportunity scholarships. The OSP ensures that low-income families have the same opportunities as more affluent families to choose among public schools, charter schools and quality private schools. Some 91 percent of participating children are African-American and Hispanic, and the average income for participating families is less than $24,000 per year, the program’s website says.

Studies - Nature - Students

“All of the studies that have been longitudinal in nature and for students that...
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