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WSJ fibs about Obama fibbing

Obama and O'Reilly on school vouchers
Obama and O'Reilly on school vouchers

The Wall Street Journal claimed that Obama’s statements to Bill O’Reilly about the impact of school vouchers were a fib, or border on not telling the truth. Well, you can’t always believe what is in the Wall Street Journal. Who owns that paper now?

WSJ belongs to News Corp, and that is owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Here is what the WSJ headlined says.

“Obama’s Education Fibs
School vouchers work, and the president knows it.

Sadly, people in the U.S. and abroad have become accustomed to the fact that President Obama stretches the truth with some regularity, whether the topic is his health-care law, the terror attacks in Benghazi or “red lines” in Syria. In his interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly on Sunday, the president offered up another whopper.

Asked by Mr. O’Reilly why he opposed school vouchers that “level the playing field” and “give poor people a chance to go to better schools,” the president replied, “Actually, every study that’s been done on school vouchers, Bill, says that it has very limited impact if any.””

Check some facts. The bottom line is there is no achievement advantage for voucher students. Who’s fibbing?

Here are a whole bunch, and you can read it all at the link.

“The Impact of School Vouchers on Student Achievement:
A Research Update*

In 1998 and 1999, Keystone Research Center released two reports surveying research on the track record of school vouchers with respect to student achievement. The research available at that time on the impact of voucher programs came primarily from Milwaukee and Cleveland. This research found no strong evidence that vouchers improve student achievement.

Since the late 1990s, there has been surprisingly little additional research on the educational
impact of vouchers. One reason for this is that advocates for vouchers have sometimes opposed the collection of data and commissioning of independent evaluations. The rest of this Appendix briefly summarizes the findings of research on the achievement impact of vouchers and of private schools more broadly.

Milwaukee Voucher Program

As noted in KRC’s 1998 report, the first “five legislatively mandated evaluations of the
Milwaukee program found no achievement gains for voucher students.”

As noted in KRC’s 1999 report, 1995 legislation terminated the official evaluation of the Milwaukee voucher program. The program now enrolls 20,000 students and cost $130 million in 2009.

As noted in KRC’s 1998 report p. 15-21, Harvard University’s Paul Peterson, a voucher
advocate, and his team re-analyzed the state’s Milwaukee voucher evaluation and found
that by the third and fourth year of attending a private school, voucher users outperformed
the public school control group in reading and math. The researchers’ own tables showed a
statistically significant result only in math and only in the fourth year. Moreover, their data
showed that voucher students were a more advantaged group than the comparison students
in public schools.

A second re-analysis of the state’s Milwaukee voucher evaluation by Princeton University’s
Cecilia Rouse found no effect from vouchers in reading and a small effect in math for voucher students who had remained in the program over the four-year period.

A follow-up study by Rouse found that low-income students attending Milwaukee public
schools served by a state class-size reduction and enrichment program significantly
outperformed voucher students in reading and scored as well in math.5

In 2007, a fresh evaluation of the Milwaukee voucher program began. The evaluation team
includes: Patrick Wolf, Endowed Chair in School Choice at the University of Arkansas; Jay
Greene, a former co-author of voucher advocate Paul Peterson’s; and John Witte, the head of the earlier evaluation of the Milwaukee voucher program. After four years, the new Milwaukee evaluation program has found no achievement advantage for voucher students.

This update also appears as Appendix A in the Keystone Research Center report No Accountability: Pennsylvania’s Track Record Using

Tax Credits to Pay for Private and Religious School Tuition. Both the full report and this document can be accessed separately online at”

Read much more…

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