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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

What the world might tell us about vouchers



Coulson Vouchers make school systems better – and evidence from around the world proves it, says a new policy analysis from the Cato Institute, a think tank that embraces free markets.

Cato's Andrew J. Coulson says he looked at every study he could find – ultimately, 55 studies about schools in 20 nations, from the U.S. to Columbia to India to Ghana - that compared public and private school performance. The result: Private schools in market-like systems (go to page 12 to see how Coulson defines that) do far better than public schools, especially in terms of student achievement and financial efficiency.

Coulson says Florida's corporate tax-credit vouchers fit the definition of a market-like system, because most parents whose kids receive the scholarships help pay part of the private-school tuition. He told the Gradebook: "It is reasonable to expect that, if it allowed to keep expanding, it will show the kinds of results achieved by market-like education systems all over the world."

At this point, though, the jury's still out.

- Ron Matus, state education reporter

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:56am]


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