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Breaking Down "The Private School Landscape"

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In our new report, The Private School Landscape, we wanted to find out whether school choice programs have created increased competition and private school capacity in the states where they are in effect. We also wanted to know whether more access to educational choice programs has increased private school enrollment over time and, as critics often allege, whether school choice has caused increased racial segregation among private school populations.

Flip through this quick rundown of the key findings you need to know.

For the full Private School Landscape report, visit http://www.edchoice.org/PrivateSchoolLandscape.

Published in: Data & Analytics
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Breaking Down "The Private School Landscape"

  1. 1. THE PRIVATE SCHOOL LANDSCAPE edchoice.org/PrivateSchoolLandscape BREAKING DOWN
  2. 2. Advocates say school choice will change the landscape of education through competition.
  3. 3. Properly implemented, school choice programs should diversify private school student populations and the education marketplace as a whole.
  4. 4. Have they?
  5. 5. After more than 20 years, what can researchers determine about the relationship between choice program adoption and private school student populations?
  6. 6. What might it tell us about choice policies and competition?
  7. 7. In 2012, researchers Greg Forster and Lynn Woodworth studied seven states and the District of Columbia and found school choice had little to no effect on the private school sector.
  8. 8. After four more years of school choice program growth, our new report The Private School Landscape provides a different and deeper analysis of new and updated data on the change in private school capacity and composition.
  9. 9. Question 1: Is there a significant change in private school enrollment trends after the introduction of private school choice programs? Biannual Enrollment in Choice and Non-Choice States—State Sums 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 3,500,000 3,000,000 2,500,000 2,000,000 1,500,000 1,000,000 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Non-Choice Choice 1,852,726 1,768,552 2,624,190 3,290,652 2,669,708 1,695,892 2,091,012 2,711,001
  10. 10. Biannual Percentage Change in Enrollment Over Year 1 in Choice and Non-Choice States—State Sums 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% -5% -10% Non-Choice Choice 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 4.9% -4.5% -3.2% 21.4% -1.5% -8.5% 12.9% 7.9%
  11. 11. Private school enrollment trends in states with school choice programs either did not differ significantly or differed only trivially from trends in states without choice programs.
  12. 12. Question 2: Is there a significant difference in the percentage of racial/ethnic minority students in private schools after the introduction of private school choice programs? Biannual Percentage Racial/Ethnic Minority Students in Schools in Choice and Non-Choice States 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% Non-Choice Choice 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 12.8% 22.6% 29.5% 21.4%
  13. 13. Biannual Percentage Change in Racial/Ethnic Minority Students Over Year 1 in Choice and Non-Choice States 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Non-Choice Choice 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 75.8% 38.0% 6.2% 1.9%
  14. 14. Private schools in school choice states did not grow “whiter” and remained consistent with the populations surrounding their schools.
  15. 15. Question 3: Is there a significant difference in the number of grades private schools offer (i.e. capacity) after the introduction of private school choice programs? Biannual Average Number of Grades Private Schools Offer in Choice and Non-Choice States 19921990 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 8.7 8.6 8.5 8.4 8.3 8.2 8.1 8.0 Non-Choice Choice 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 2010 2012 8.43 8.33 8.30 8.26 8.51 8.12 8.39 8.21 8.64 8.67
  16. 16. Biannual Percentage Change in Number of Grades Private Schools Offer Over Year 1 in Choice and Non-Choice States 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2% 1% 0% -1% -2% -3% -4% -5% Non-Choice Choice 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 2010 2012 0.3% -3.7% -3.4% -3.5% -3.9% -2.9% -2.6% -2.0% 0.9%
  17. 17. Private school capacity under conditions of school choice look substantively the same as conditions without choice across all analyses.
  18. 18. Simply put, we haven’t seen the growth we were hoping for. Why?
  19. 19. The vision of universal school choice that Milton Friedman first wrote about in 1955 hasn’t become a reality.
  20. 20. Instead, the majority of America’s school choice programs are restrictive in many ways.
  21. 21. Therefore, these findings seem to support a shift toward policy features that:
  22. 22. Make as many students eligible as possible to drive demand and induce competition. 1
  23. 23. Find a balance between light regulatory restrictions/burdens and accountability to avoid disincentivizing high-quality providers who value autonomy. 2
  24. 24. Establish reliable program funding streams to assure private school leaders that choice programs are more than a flash in the pan. 3
  25. 25. Secure strong per-pupil funding­—whether in the form of vouchers, tax-credit scholarships or education savings accounts­— to incentivize greater private school involvement and put a greater number of schools within reach of more children. 4
  26. 26. For more detailed analysis, methods and more, see the full report at EDCHOICE.ORG/PrivateSchoolLandscape Have questions? Contact Dr. Dick Carpenter at dcarpent@uccs.edu and/or Drew Catt at dcatt@edchoice.org.

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