The primary finding in all of these comparisons is that there is no overall statistically significant difference between MPCP (voucher) and MPS student achievement growth in either math or reading."
A second study, (of) not scientifically matched groups of MPS and voucher students, found that the percentages of fourth-graders in voucher schools who met the state's definition of proficiency in reading and math were lower than percentages for low-income MPS fourth-graders. For eighth-graders, the proficiency rates were about the same.
One of the studies concluded that, by a small margin, MPS results are better now than they otherwise would be because of the presence of voucher schools.
They show that the voucher system is educating children at less cost than MPS … The researchers wrote that the voucher program was "a rising tide that has lifted all boats, but that tide has not exactly been a tsunami."
The School Choice Demonstration Project was given a green light to conduct extensive studies for five years.
In another study the results for low-income MPS students were compared with voucher students … fourth-graders showed higher percentages of MPS students as proficient, while for eighth-graders, the numbers slightly favored voucher students.
The researchers did not release any information about individual schools … Many voucher critics want school-by school information to be made public … it was clear from data in the reports that there is a set of voucher schools that have very high results, while the bulk of the schools cluster around the average levels for MPS.
Patrick Wolf, the lead researcher, said the data on the progress being made by the comparison groups of MPS and voucher students will be more interesting in coming years. "Maybe with another year or two, one side will create some daylight" by improving significantly more than the other, he said.