Voucher Critics are seizing on D.C. test scores. They’re missing the point.

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Originally Published: The Washington Post
September 2017

CRITICS OF school choice could not contain their glee over 
a new study on the District’s school voucher program showing that students attending private schools did not perform as well on standardized tests as their public school counterparts. It is pretty rich that those who have railed against using test scores to hold schools accountable now invoke them to try to shut down the federally funded voucher program. And it is pretty easy for people who already have educational options for their children to discount the importance of school choice to parents who do not. Click here to read more.

The D.C. Council should not try to derail the city’s school voucher program.

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Originally published: The Washington Post
March 2017

THE ORGANIZATION that administers the federal school voucher program in the District has received 1,825 applications this year. The largest share, 25.6 percent or 468 applications, comes from Ward 8, east of the Anacostia River. The smallest, 0.8 percent or 15 families, is from Ward 3 in Northwest. It makes sense that demand is greatest where public schools are worst and families can’t afford private school or are unable to move to where the public schools are better. Read more

Parent Satisfaction Highest in Private Schools

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Originally Published: Council For American Private Education

January 2017

Private school parents are significantly more satisfied with the schools their children attend than are parents from other sectors, including public charter schools and public district schools. That finding comes from two new studies released by Education Next, a scholarly journal on school reform published by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School. Click here to read more.

Rising Graduation Rates Not Good Enough When Academic Achievement Isn’t Improving

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Originally Posted – Daily Signal

By: Anne Ryland

10/20/2016

Earlier this week, the White House announced with great fanfare that graduation rates across the nation have hit a record high of 83.2 percent. The most recent data show improved graduation rates across all reported student groups although significant achievement gaps remain for disadvantaged and minority students. Graduation rates have been steadily rising since 2011.  Rising graduation rates do seem like a cause for celebration. Social science has consistently shown that completing high school is associated with greater economic mobility, decreased rates of incarceration, and longer, healthier living.  Yet, if graduation rates are on the rise, why do high school seniors’ scores on the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) and other standardized tests remain flat? Click here to read more

Mother sees scholarships as ‘grace from God’

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Originally Posted – My Catholic Standard

By: Kelly Seegers

10/19/2016

Every morning at 3:15 a.m., Juliette Randolph’s alarm goes off. She wakes up, watches the news, and gets ready, before waking up her three children, Jalen, Ava, and Briah, and helping them prepare for school.  With the children dressed in their red and blue uniforms, the family leaves their home at 6 a.m. and takes the Metro for about an hour. After exiting the station, Jalen gets on a shuttle to St. Anselm’s Abbey School in Washington, where he is in sixth grade. The other three take a bus to St. Anthony Catholic School in Washington, where Ava is in third grade, Briah is in first grade, and Randolph works as a pre-kindergarten instructional assistant. Click here to read more.

Knuckling under on D.C.’s voucher program

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Originally Posted – The Washington Post

By: The Editorial Board

12/18/2015

DEL. ELEANOR Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) trumpeted the sweeping spending bill that passed Congress this week as a “major victory ” for the District. We are glad that efforts to nullify a local antidiscrimination law were staved off and that there are increased funds for the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant Program. However, the failure to include a measure that would have safeguarded millions of dollars in funding for public education in the city is both disappointing and exasperating. For that, the District can thank its supposed allies on the hill, the Democrats. Click here to read more

A misguided attack on D.C.’s needy students

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Originally Published: The Washington Post

By: Editorial Board

October 20, 2015

IS THE federally funded scholarship program for poor D.C. families being forced on an unwilling city? It is safe to say that thousands of D.C. parents whose children are on the waiting list for a scholarship do not think so. Nor, we would venture, do the 6,100 children, predominantly minorities, who have used the scholarships to attend private schools. For that matter, students in the city’s public schools who have benefited from the infusion of federal dollars that has accompanied the voucher program probably would not embrace the argument either. Click here to read more

School Choice is Not a Partisan Issue

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Originally Posted on The Washington Post

By: Kevin Chavous

March 30,  2011

Seventy-four percent of people rarely agree on anything.

In a Pew poll in September, for instance, not even 60 percent of Americans could correctly name Joe Biden as the vice president. But here in Washington, there is overwhelming consensus on something: education reform. More specifically — the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program  Click here to read more

Scholarships awarded for 234 new students to attend a D.C. private school in the 2016-17 school year under the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program

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Washington, DC (June 3, 2016) — Serving Our Children announced today they have awarded 234 new scholarships for the 2016-17 school year. For the current 2015-16 school year, 1244 students are receiving scholarships to attend a private school in the District, and most of these students will continue to receive scholarships under the program next year. Sixty percent of these families receive SNAP and/or TANF benefits.

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Serving Our Children Awarded Contract to Administer DC Opportunity Scholarship Program

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Serving Our Children Awarded Contract to Administer DC Opportunity Scholarship Program Washington, D.C. (Aug. 21, 2015) –Serving Our Children (SOC), a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) organization, has been named by the U.S. Department of Education as the new administrator for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP). (more…)