9 Replies to “Greg Anrig Set Me Up!”

  1. Word out of Georgia is that Governor Perdue signed the $50m tuition tax credit passed by the GA legislature.

    I’m feeling pretty spry for a dead guy. Greg Anrig = Dewey Wins?

    -Matthew Ladner

  2. The Louisiana House just passed a New Orleans voucher program with a large bipartisan majority, 59-41.

  3. So let me see if I have this right. The school district with the highest per pupil cost:poorformance ratio in the country is going to improve performance by increasing said ratio, correct?

    Must be like the Atkins diet; lose more, eat more!

  4. My article focused on the school vouchers idea, not the much broader assortment of choice-oriented initiatives. In the fifty-three years since Milton Friedman put forward his idea, only three cities have implemented voucher plans for an extended period of time similar to what he proposed (he opposed tuition tax credits, by the way): Milwaukee, Cleveland, and DC. In those cities, the best available evidence shows that the students who moved to the private schools did not appear to perform significantly better than the students who remained behind in the public schools. Or that the competition associated with vouchers induced meaningful improvements in the public schools relative to cities without voucher programs.

    The piece emphasizes five points: 1) some former voucher supporters have softened their enthusiasm for the idea based on the poor results in those cities, based on recent, compelling studies; 2) voucher referenda have been trounced without exception, most recently in Utah; 3) leading funders of the conservative movement have shifted their focus to the much less radical and widely pursued idea of charters; 4) state court decisions in Colorado and Florida struck down voucher plans; and 5) Blaine laws greatly reduce the terrain on which vouchers can be contemplated. Based on those facts, I think it was a reasonable conclusion to say that the voucher movement “may not long outlive its founder.”

    The “choice” initiatives that have come up since my article went to press aren’t really full-blown Milwaukee-style voucher programs oriented on promoting the competition that Friedman viewed as the central basis for his idea. Because the public schools would not be deprived of funding upon the exit of students who receive the scholarships, these proposals are less radical. And in the cases where the scholarships would enable low-income students to move across district lines to attend middle class schools, I would even support those initiatives as explained in my piece — because there’s an empirical basis for believing that they will benefit those children.

  5. Mr. Anrig, What about this?

    Democratic lawmakers warm up to vouchers

    By Ron Matus, Times Staff Writer
    In print: Monday, May 12, 2008

    In 2001, Democrats in the Legislature pounded Republican plans to start a private school voucher program for poor and predominantly minority kids. They said it was unconstitutional, a drain on public schools, even un-American. In the end, all but one Democrat voted against it.
    Times have changed. This year, a bill to vastly expand the same program passed by large margins.

  6. As a few of the legislators quoted in the article say: “It’s not a voucher program.” If a student leaving the public school to attend a private school doesn’t cost the public school funding — which is my understanding of how this program works — then you don’t have the market-based competitive effects that were central to Friedman’s idea.

  7. Mr. Anrig-

    So long as the state funds schools on a per student basis, which is almost always the case, then any program that allows a child to transfer will have an impact on the public school they left, including the Florida tax credit program, or charter schools or even intradistrict public school choice.

    Florida has done a great deal of this, along with other important reforms, and their test scores have improved markedly. In 2007, after years of strong improvement, Florida’s Hispanic 4th graders outscored the statewide average of 15 different states on reading.

    Florida’s free and reduced lunch Hispanics outscored several of those statewide averages for all students, and their African American students outscored two statewide averages for all students.

    Mind you, I am not attributing all of this improvement to competitive effects, but there are studies by both right and left of center scholars that support the contention that some of it did come about because of it.

    -Matthew Ladner

  8. Mr. Anrig:

    Do you support vouchers as long as they do not take money from the public schools?

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