The first part of this Greg Forster blog post is just more of the back and forth over Sol Stern’s recent article on vouchers but the second part is an interesting discussion of how ideology and research intersect. It’s worth checking out.
My view has generally been that part of the problem with the debate about vouchers is that people are using research findings about student achievement (that for practical purposes are pretty small effect sizes) as clubs in the debate. If you really think that people should be able to send their child to any school they want at public expense, a view I don’t share, then what do you care about a few randomized studies in places like Milwaukee or Cleveland? Likewise, stridently anti-choice advocates are not really arguing an empirical point either. In both cases the viewpoints are ideological and also perfectly legitimate. The debate is really about how to organize education in our society.
But Greg offers an interesting addendum on that point, in terms of how people think about progress and what drives it.