The year 3 results of the Department of Education study of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program were released on Friday afternoon. The study found that students who received scholarships “were performing at statistically significant higher levels of reading” – demonstrating the equivalent of 3.1 months of additional learning – nearly half a year of additional learning.
Many members of Congress have indicated that they would be deciding their vote on reauthorization based on the results of this study. On the Senate floor, Dick Durbin argued that he wanted to put the program through the reauthorization process in order to see if it works. Even President Obama has said, “If there was any argument for vouchers, it was, ‘Let’s see if it works.’ And if it does, whatever my preconception, you do what’s best for kids.” Unbelievably–and in apparent contradiction with President Obama’s argument that we should support programs that work–Secretary of Education Arne Duncan suggested that these gains do not support reauthorizing the program.
This research,though, is clear – OSP kids are learning, and they are learning more than their peers who stayed in public schools. The program works.
Let President Obama, Secretary Duncan, Mayor Fenty, Senator Durbin, and your representatives know that you expect them to vote for what works by supporting the reauthorization of the DC OSP.
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