CHOICE
The concept of choice in education is simple: Parents should be able to choose the educational options that best suit the unique gifts and needs of each of their children. To make this possible, public education policy should encourage the development of many diverse educational models, and public education dollars should follow students to the schools chosen by their parents. This requires accountability, of course, which must be developed by each state or locality.

Following you will find resources, publications and organizations that specialize in education issues and policies related to choice. We will continue to add content, so come back again soon.


RESOURCES

What educational options are available in my state?
The following organizations provide state-specific information for parents who want to know about their current school choice options:

Alliance for School Choice
There are 18 private school choice programs across the United States. Select your state to learn the details about school choice programs. While some states do not offer private school choice, many offer charter school options.

Center for Education Reform
Use the charter school locator resource available at the Center for Education Reform (CER) website to learn about charter school options in your area.

Heritage Foundation
The Foundation's Choices in Education site provides an interactive look at school choice programs in America. Learn about school choice programs in each state across the country and the different types of school choice, including public school choice, private school choice, charter schools and online learning.

Model legislation for School Choice
Interested in pursuing school choice legislation in your state? Click here for model legislation.

School Choice facts and research
Visit schoolchoiceinfo.org for more information about school choice.


ORGANIZATIONS THAT PROMOTE CHOICE

Arizona: The Arizona School Tuition Organization Association
Florida: Floridians for School Choice
Georgia: Center for an Educated Georgia
Illinois: Illinois Policy Institute
Indiana: School Choice Indiana
Iowa: Iowa Alliance for Choice in Education
Kentucky: Bluegrass Institute
Louisiana: The Pelican Institute
Maine: Maine Heritage Policy Center
Maryland: BOAST (Building Opportunities for All Students and Teachers)
Minnesota: Minnesota Independent School Forum
Missouri: Show-Me Institute
Montana: Montana Family Foundation
Nevada: Nevada Policy Research Institute
New Jersey: Excellent Education for Everyone
New Mexico: Educate New Mexico
North Carolina: Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina
Ohio: School Choice Ohio
Oklahoma: Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs
Oregon: Cascade Policy Institute
Pennsylvania: REACH Foundation
Rhode Island: Rhode Island Scholarship Alliance
South Carolina: South Carolina Policy Council
Tennessee: Tennessee Center for Policy Research
Texas: Texas Public Policy Foundation
Utah: Parents for Choice in Education
Vermont: Vermonters for Better Education
Virginia: School Choice Virginia
Washington, D.C.: Washington Scholarship Fund
West Virginia: West Virginians for Education Reform
Wisconsin: School Choice Wisconsin


PUBLICATIONS

KIPP Middle Schools Found to Spur Learning Gains
 News Article | Mary Ann Zehr | Education Week | June 22, 2010
Students’ gains in mathematics after three years in a charter school run by the Knowledge Is Power Program, or KIPP, are large enough in about half of schools to significantly narrow race- and income-based achievement gaps among students, according to a study of 22 KIPP middle schools nationwide.

Paper | David N. Figlio and Cassandra M.D. Hart | National Bureau of Economic Research | June 2010
This paper adds to a long line of studies demonstrating that competition lifts all boats. It focuses on the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program--the largest such program in the country--which gives low-income students tuition stipends to attend private schools; nearly 28,000 students took advantage last year. The paper is available for a small fee.
Source: Thomas B. Fordham Institute | Janie Scull | Education Gadfly | Volume 10, Number 22 | June 10, 2010
 
Graduation Rates for Choice and Public School Students in Milwaukee, 2003-2008
Study | John Robert Warren | University of Minnesota | February 2010
High school dropouts earn less, contribute less to the tax base, and are more likely to go to prison — sobering facts that underscore the importance of a new study showing that the graduation rate for students in Milwaukee’s 20-year-old school choice program was 18 percent higher than for students in the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS).

An Evaluation of the CEO Horizon, 1998-2008, Edgewood Tuition Voucher Program

Study | Dr. John Merrifield, Dr. Nathan Gray | University of Texas at San Antonio | September 24, 2009

The CEO Foundation funded tuition vouchers for Edgewood school district residents from 1998 to 2008. All applicants that met the district residency requirement got vouchers through the sixth year, 2003-04. ... Conservative estimates based on two sets of ‘control’ districts found that the voucher program had significant positive impacts on single- and multi-family housing numbers and market value, commercial development, EISD test scores, EISD graduation rates, EISD school performance, and on the graduation and college attendance rates of voucher users.

Lost Opportunities
Article | Patrick J. Wolf | Education Next | September 10, 2009
The Institute of Education Sciences released the third-year impact evaluation of the Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) in April 2009. The results showed that students who participated in the program performed at significantly higher levels in reading than the students in an experimental control group. Here are the study findings and my own interpretation of what they mean. (Mr. Wolf is the principal investigator for a congressionally mandated evaluation of the voucher program.)

Matchmaking: Enabling Mandatory Public School Choice in New York and Boston
Analysis | Chad Aldeman, Thomas Toch | Education Sector | September 8, 2009
In this new Education Sector Idea at Work, Matchmaking: Enabling Mandatory Public School Choice in New York and Boston, Co-founder Thomas Toch and Policy Analyst Chad Aldeman take a close look at the choice systems in New York and Boston, where students are required to participate. By making choice mandatory, the two cities have sponsored choice on a scale unprecedented in public education, say Toch and Aldeman. And the results are impressive—stimulating a new entrepreneurialism among many public educators, improving the perception of public education among middle-class families, and serving as a catalyst for school reform.

Down but Not Out in D.C.: Bi‐Partisan, Bi‐Cameral Efforts to Continue the Opportunity Scholarship Program
Policy Brief | Vicki E. Murray, Evelyn B. Stacey | Independent Women's Forum | August 2009
Enacted in 2004, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program has helped more than 3,000 students from low-income families do what children of Presidents and Members of Congress have always done: escape one of the country’s most expensive, dysfunctional, and dangerous schooling systems.

What’s the Big IDEA? Picking Winners and Losers in Education
Report | Christina Martin | Cascade Policy Institute | August 2009
Do disabled children in Oregon have more legal rights to a solid education than students who are not disabled? A recent U.S. Supreme Court interpretation of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)1 indicates that they do.

With Charter Schools Ascendant, is there still a future for vouchers?
Video Panel Discussion | Thomas B. Fordham Institute | August 20, 2009
Panel discussion about the future of charters, vouchers, and school choice in general.

The Uses of Vouchers
Article | Jay P. Greene and Patrick J. McCloskey | City Journal | July 2009
School choice can help special-ed students and keep the Catholic-school option alive in the inner city.

New poll finds strong support for DC voucher program, charter schools
Press Release | Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice | July 2009
More than seven out of ten registered voters in the District of Columbia support the federally funded DC Opportunity Scholarship program, which provides tuition scholarships for low-income students to attend private schools, according to the results of a public opinion survey released today by nine local and national educational and policy organizations.

The Fiscal Impact of Tax-Credit Scholarships in Oklahoma
Study | Brian Gottlob | Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice | June 2009
Our analysis examines the demographics of the special needs population in public and private schools in Oklahoma and estimates the impact on school enrollments providing tax credit funded scholarship grants for special needs students. We develop a model that shows how the expenditures of Oklahoma’s school districts vary with enrollment changes for both regular and special needs children, and show the state and local fiscal impacts of a special needs tuition tax credit program.

2008 School Choice Research Recap
Fact Sheet | Alliance for School Choice| Alliance for School Choice Staff | April 2009
Fact sheet with brief summaries of major 2008 findings in school choice research.

The Effect of Milwaukee’s Parental Choice Program on Student Achievement in Milwaukee Public Schools
Study | Department of Education Reform, University of Arkansas | Jay P. Greene, Ryan H. Marsh | April 2009
We find that students fare better academically when they have more options from Milwaukee’s voucher program. The effects are modest in magnitude, but they are robust to multiple specifications of the model.

Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Impacts After Three Years
Institute of Education Sciences| Patrick Wolf, Babette Gutmann, Michael Puma, Brian Kisida, Lou Rizzo, Nada Eissa | March 2009
Amid all the sound and fury surrounding the D.C. voucher program, this study is a significant feather in the cap of the program's supporters. Why? Because despite the study's rigorous methods (a gold-standard randomized controlled trial, which usually finds "no effect"), students offered a voucher were performing at statistically higher levels in reading after three years (equivalent to a 3.1 month gain) than students not offered a scholarship. The reading finding is even more striking since the treatment group was highly mobile--a factor that likely contributed to the null findings in years one and two. (Over the three years, in fact, 51 percent of the treatment group switched schools 2-3 times.) Unsurprisingly, both groups performed similarly in math and the program did not have a significant impact in reading or math for those students who applied from the worst performing public schools.
Source:Thomas B. Fordham Institute | Education Gadfly | Volume 9, Number 12 | April 9, 2009 | By Amber Winkler

Fears vs. Facts about school choice: An overview of issues surrounding the effects of competition on public education
Report | Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions| John Garen, Ph.D. | 2009
Choice programs create competition and market-like incentives that have proven so effective and are relied on for many goods and services. There remain, however, many unfounded fears about school choice.

Stop Leaving Most Children Behind: Why School Choice Is Your Right
Speech | Black Alliance for Educational Options | Cascade Policy Institute | Dr. Howard Fuller | May 2006
The Black Alliance for Educational Options and the Cascade Policy Institute present highlights from a speech by Dr. Howard Fuller: Stop Leaving Most Children Behind: Why School Choice is Your Right.


ORGANIZATIONS

Alliance for School Choice
The Alliance for School Choice is a national leader in promoting school vouchers and scholarship tax credit programs. As a nonprofit organization, we work collaboratively with state and national groups to advance school choice.

Black Alliance for Educational Options
Supports empowering low income black families with school choice.

Citizens for Educational Reform
Citizens for Educational Freedom (CEF) is a non-profit corporation founded in 1959, with headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. We are unique to the school choice movement in that we are a grassroots organization fully funded by citizens and supporting groups of every race, color, creed and political party. Our purpose is to promote the primary rights of parents to freedom of choice, justice and quality in education for all.

Institute for Justice
A national libertarian public interest law firm. Dedicated to advance economic liberty, school choice, property rights, and free speech.

Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice
The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice is dedicated to realizing the vision of school choice first proposed by our founder, Dr. Milton Friedman.