School Choice: The Findings is the most comprehensive and up‐to‐date survey available, summarizing the research on charter schools, vouchers, and public versus private school effectiveness, from one of the country’s most distinguished education scholars. The focus is on rigorous studies—those using randomized control groups (as in medical research), those that monitor achievement changes over time, and those based on large numbers of students.
Whereas the U.S. school choice debate is often confined to the small‐scale voucher programs in Milwaukee and Cleveland, Dr. Walberg examines evidence from around the world. School Choice: The Findings touches on Chile’s 25‐year‐old nationwide voucher program, the Dutch universal voucher program dating back to 1917, and the more recent program in Sweden.
The findings presented here also go beyond academic achievement, covering students’ civic engagement, cost comparisons across school types, and public and parental opinion about schools and school choice. Dr. Walberg reveals how much Americans know about school choice. Do they support it? What about families whose children are enrolled in charter schools or in private schools thanks to a voucher program? Are they happier with the quality of their children’s education than those whose children attend an assigned public school?
While acknowledging and discussing some notable exceptions, Dr. Walberg concludes that the consensus of the high‐quality international research overwhelmingly favors competition and parental choice in education over the monopoly systems that dominate the United States and many other industrialized countries.