The School Choice Segregation Myth
It’s time to put to bed a nasty myth about school choice (exemplified in this letter from American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten) and segregation that resurfaced this summer. According to the research, there is no evidence that private school vouchers make segregation in schools worse. In fact, according to a Cato Institute review of the literature most studies indicate that voucher programs help facilitate racial integration.
Cory Deangelis of Cato reviewed the eight existing studies on school choice and integration that were conducted using rigorous, empirical research methods. Seven showed that school choice programs were associated with statistically significant progress toward racial integration (the other yielded results that were statistically neutral). These studies looked at voucher programs in Cleveland, Louisiana, Milwaukee, and Washington, D.C.
Attempting to revive long-debunked claims doesn’t help kids get a better education. With clear research on school choice and segregation, discussions of school choice should focus on what will improve schools for all kids.