School Choice Program Term Paper

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[. . .] According to Witte (1996), "The general theory was devoid of any specification of exactly how schools would produce superior results. If competition alone is the impetus for improvement, then the mechanisms need not be spelled out. Market iteration will sort out schools for consumers based on superior production. Curriculum, organization, pedagogy, and governance structures of the superior schools will survive, and presumably become the models for other schools. Friedman's original proposal contained few specifics, which subsequent scholars and policy experts have argued are crucial in defining a viable voucher program and, more important, defining who might benefit from such a program. The design of a program will affect who benefits. A limited and targeted voucher program, such as the MPCP, may have the advantage of providing benefits for students most in need of help, while those same students might be harmed by a broad-based, unlimited voucher system. Those who foresee a broad market system, with the wonders of competition spread ubiquitously across the student population, argue either that most students will benefit, or at least that benefits will more closely match abilities. Those more pessimistic argue that existing inequities in our education system will grow because vouchers will allow for further stratification by socioeconomic status, race, and/or ability. Which way vouchers lead may depend on the existing private-school market."

This study will examine results from real students involved in the school choice program in Milwaukee.

Results of Study

This study will examine student performance reports that have been drawn from two distinct populations. One sample will consist of interviews with teachers and administrators from the participating schools. This sample will contribute qualitative data. As mentioned in previous chapters, the school populations from which the student samples will be drawn are 300, 285, and 350, respectively. All students are low income, and tuition for them is paid with parental school choice program vouchers. Of the two private and one public schools, the percentages of African-American students are 100%, 97%, and 94%, respectively. One of the two private schools and the one public school are in zip code 53205, and the other private school is in zip code 53208.

The following charts examine the attendance, reading and mathematic grades taken from 45 students in Urban Day School, Urban Waldorf and Milwaukee Public School. In each school, the performance reports of 15 students with similar backgrounds were recorded for comparison.

TABLE 1 -- Student Progress Report Attendance Findings for Milwaukee Public School

Student A Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student B

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student C

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student D

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student E

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student F

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student G

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student H

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student I

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student J

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student K

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student L

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student M

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student N

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student O

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

During Period One, the total number of absences among the 15 students was 22. There were a total of 9 incidents of tardiness. During Period Two, the total number of absences among the 15 students was 56. There were a total of 11 incidents of tardiness.

TABLE 2 -- Student Progress Report Attendance Findings for Woodson Academy

Student A Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student B

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student C

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student D

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student E

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student F

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student G

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student H

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student I

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student J

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student K

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student L

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student M

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student N

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student O

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

During Period One, the total number of absences among the 15 students was 27. There were no incidents of tardiness. During Period Two, the total number of absences among the 15 students was 50. There were no incidents of tardiness.

TABLE 3 -- Student Progress Report Attendance Findings for Urban Day Middle School

Student A Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student B

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student C

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student D

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student E

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student F

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student G

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student H

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student I

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student J

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student K

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student L

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student M

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student N

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

Student O

Period

One

Two

Three

Four

Days Absent

Times Tardy

During Period One, the total number of absences among the 15 students was 32. There were 62 incidents of tardiness. During Period Two, the total number of absences among the 15 students was 44. There were 16 incidents of tardiness.

Attendance Results

The total amount of absences for the participating students during both periods is as follows:

Milwaukee Public School reported 78 absences and 20 incidents of tardiness.

The Woodson Academy reported 77 absences and no incidents of tardiness.

The Urban Day School reported 76 absences and 78 incidents of tardiness.

TABLE 4 -- "Reading Scores for Milwaukee Public School Students

Period One

Period Two

Period Three

Period Four

TABLE 5 -- "Reading Scores for Woodson Academy Students

Period One

Period Two

Period Three

Period Four

TABLE 5 -- "Reading Scores for Urban Day School Students

Period One

Period Two

Period Three

Period Four

TABLE 6 -- "Math Scores for Milwaukee Public School Students

Period One

Period Two

Period Three

Period Four

TABLE 7 -- "Math Scores for Woodson Academy Students

Period One

Period Two

Period Three

Period Four

TABLE 8 -- "Math Scores for Urban Day School Students

Period One

Period Two

Period Three

Period Four

Results

To determine which of these schools had the highest academic achievement in Math and Reading, we employed the following system. Because the Milwaukee Public School used a different grading system, the scores of public school students were altered to compare them to the scores of private school students. The following changes were made for the Milwaukee Public School:

O=A

V=B

G=C

N=D

NC=F

To rate the performance of each of the schools, the following point system was used:

A=

B=

C=

D=

F=

Based on the points system, the following results were derived from the student progress reports of each of the three schools.

TABLE 9 -- "Reading Points for Milwaukee Public School Students

Period One

Period Two

Period Three

Period Four

TABLE 10 -- "Reading Points for Woodson Academy Students

Period One

Period Two

Period Three

Period Four

TABLE 11 -- "Reading Points for Urban Day School Students

Period One

Period Two

Period Three

Period Four

TABLE 12 -- "Math Points for Milwaukee Public School Students

Period One

Period Two

Period Three

Period Four

TABLE 13 -- "Math Points for Woodson Academy Students

Period One

Period Two

Period Three

Period Four

TABLE 14 -- "Math Points for Urban Day School Students

Period One

Period Two

Period Three

Period Four

These results reveal that the public school had lower results in all categories than the private schools. However, many would argue that these results are inconclusive because the private schools had less accountability requirements. Therefore, this study will examine interviews from several… [END OF PREVIEW]

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