No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Milwaukee voucher students graduate at a higher rate than MPS students

by @ 7:29 on February 2, 2010. Filed under Education.

A new report from University of Minnesota sociologist John Robert Warren shows participants in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program graduated at a 18% higher rate than students in Milwaukee Public Schools in 2008, or 77% versus 65%:

High school dropouts earn less, contribute less to the tax base, and are more likely to go to prison — sobering facts that underscore the importance of a new study showing that the graduation rate for students in Milwaukee’s 20-year-old school choice program was 18 percent higher than for students in the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS).

The findings, from a leading national expert who analyzed six years of data, estimate that 3,352 additional Milwaukee students would have received diplomas between 2003 and 2008 if public school graduation rates had matched those of low-income students using educational vouchers. Based on a separate study reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Erin Richards, the annual impact from 3,352 more MPS graduates would include an additional $21.2 million in personal income and $3.6 million in extra tax revenue.

“This new study deserves the attention of state and federal officials — including President Barack Obama — who seek education reforms that produce solid results,” said Jeff Monday, principal of Milwaukee’s nationally recognized Messmer High School.

The author of the new study, University of Minnesota Professor John Robert Warren, estimated a 2008 graduation rate of 77% for school choice students and 65% for public school students. The difference — twelve percentage points — translates into an 18% higher rate for voucher students. Dr. Warren found a similar average difference for the six-year period of 2003 through 2008….

The higher graduation rates for students in Milwaukee’s private school choice program are noteworthy because per pupil taxpayer support for choice students ($6,442) is less than half the $14,011 spent in the Milwaukee Public Schools.

In the new study, Professor Warren explains that eligibility for the choice program is limited to students from low-income families while “students in MPS schools come from a much broader range of social and economic backgrounds.”

Once again, it is not either the amount of money the parents have or the amount of money dumped into teachers, administrators, staff or facilities; it is motivated students, parents and teachers that make the difference in whether an education system is a success or a failure.

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