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112. The Evidence on Education Vouchers: An Application to the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program. 2006.
Author: Clive Belfield

This paper examines the academic achievement effects of the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program (CSTP), within the context of existing research on education vouchers. Extant evidence on the demand for private schooling shows religion, race, and family education levels are the most important factors. Extant evidence on school supply shows reasonable supply elasticity from the religious sector and positive (but small) competitive pressures. However, voucher programs show very modest gains in achievement for recipients; and studies highlight the many potential biases when identifying the treatment impacts of vouchers. Turning to the Cleveland program, we find a number of practical similarities between the CSTP and other voucher programs in terms of demand and supply. Overall, we find no academic advantages for voucher users; in fact, users appear to perform slightly worse in math. These results do not vary according to: adjustments for prior ability; intention-to-treat versus treatment effects; and dosage differences. Contrary to claims for other voucher programs, the CSTP is not differentially effective for African American students.


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