The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) released test score data from last spring that shows that students in the Parental Choice Programs did well when measured against their public school counterparts.  In both math and English language arts, students on a voucher in all three choice programs outperformed their income-adjusted counterparts on the Badger Exam, the Act and Dynamic Learning Maps Exam, and the ACT Plus Writing Exam. In some cases, low-income voucher students even outperformed their full-income public school peers.

“The test results show higher scores for students in the Parental Choice Programs,” Jim Bender, President of School Choice Wisconsin said.  “Previous research has showed higher test scores, higher graduation rates and college acceptance rates.  More recently, with research showing lower crime rates after graduation, the Parental Choice Programs are showing success on multiple measures.”*

Here is the data from DPI:

MPCP vs. MPS Results

  Badger Math Proficiency Badger ELA Proficiency ACT & Dynamic Learning Maps Math Proficiency ACT & Dynamic Learning Maps ELA Proficiency ACT Math Composite Score ACT ELA Composite Score ACT Composite Score
MPCP Opt Out Not Included 16.4% 27.9% 14.1% 26.9% 17.2 16.9 17.2
MPS Economically Disadvantaged 13% 20.5% 5.9% 13.7% 16 15.3 15.5
MPS – all students 15.8% 25.6% 7.4% 15.8% 16.2 15.7 15.9

In Milwaukee, income-limited MPCP students outperformed the MPS all student average and the MPS economically disadvantaged student average.

RPCP vs. RUSD Results

  Badger Math Proficiency Badger ELA Proficiency ACT & Dynamic Learning Maps Math Proficiency ACT & Dynamic Learning Maps ELA Proficiency ACT Math Composite Score ACT ELA Composite Score ACT Composite Score
RPCP Opt Out Not Included 16.9% 24.4% 31.6% 47.4% 18.7 19.5 20
RUSD Economically Disadvantaged 11.7% 18.5% 8.6% 17.6% 16.3 15.8 16.2
RUSD – all students 18.7% 27.3% 15.9% 30.8% 17.5 17.4 17.8

 

 

WPCP vs. State Results

  Badger Math Proficiency Badger ELA Proficiency ACT & Dynamic Learning Maps Math Proficiency ACT & Dynamic Learning Maps ELA Proficiency ACT Math Composite Score ACT ELA Composite Score ACT Composite Score
WPCP Opt Out Not Included 31.8% 46.2% 40.9% 59.1% 20.7 20.5 20.9
Statewide Economically Disadvantaged 27.3% 35.3% 16.8% 24.8% 17.6 16.7 17.4
Statewide – all students 43.7% 51.2% 35.9% 45.7% 20 19.3 20

As always, these are one-year snapshots of performance.  They do not include any growth over time.  DPI does not generate a proficiency score for public schools that accounts for parental opt outs as federal law does not accept these numbers for reporting purposes.  The “opt out” number for public schools is roughly 2%.  SCW does not have that data. The “opt out not included” scores accurately reflect the scores of students who actually took the exam while “opt out included” allocates a score of zero to students that opted out. The all-state data for public schools included Milwaukee and Racine.  The data for the WPCP does not.

For all the information needed to access the Parental Choice Programs in Wisconsin, please visit www.chooseyourschoolwi.org.

*The University of Arkansas’ Department of Education Reform is renowned for its research on education policy. This department houses the School Choice Demonstration Project (SCDP), a national research study that evaluates different types of schooling and their results. Notably, the SCDP conducted a longitudinal study of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) and created a series of 36 reports over the course of five years. The findings show that enrollment in the MPCP had a positive effect on a student graduation rates, college enrollment rates, and college persistence rates.