What David Leonhardt Neglects to Consider in Tuesday’s Column Endorsing Charter Schools


In a column on Tuesday, David Leonhardt, the NY Times columnist, asked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a long and devoted advocate of the expansion of school vouchers, to consider Mark Dynarski’s new study—sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education itself— of the voucher program in Washington, D.C. along with the Thomas Fordham Institute’s most recent study of vouchers in Ohio.  This and other research has shown that students carrying vouchers to private schools don’t do as well in math as their public school counterparts, and don’t do significantly better in general.  Based on these studies, Leonhardt, argues that vouchers are not a good alternative to public schools, and he suggests Betsy DeVos should pay attention to the evidence.

But although Leonhardt believes vouchers don’t work, he is a big fan of school choice and charter schools. Leonhardt buys into the idea that competition through privatization is a good…

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