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Education Working Paper  No. 10
January 2006

An Evaluation of the Effect of D.C.'s Voucher Program on Public School Achievement and Racial Integration After One Year

About the Authors

Jay P. Greene is Endowed Chair and Head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, and a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He has conducted evaluations of school choice and accountability programs for the State of Florida and for cities including Charlotte, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and San Antonio. He has also recently published research on high school graduation rates, social promotion, and special education.

His research was cited four times in the Supreme Courtís opinions in the landmark Zelman v. Simmons-Harris case on school vouchers. His articles have appeared in policy journals, such as The Public Interest, City Journal, and Education Next, in academic journals, such as the Teachers College Record, the Georgetown Public Policy Review, and the British Journal of Political Science, as well as in major newspapers, such as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and USA Today.

Greene received his B.A. in history from Tufts University in 1988 and his Ph.D. from the Government Department at Harvard University in 1995. He lives with his wife and three children in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Marcus A. Winters is a Senior Research Associate at the Manhattan Institute, where he studies and writes on education policy. He is also a Doctoral Academy Fellow in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. He has performed several studies on a variety of education policy issues including high-stakes testing, charter schools, and the effects of vouchers on the public school system. His op-ed articles have appeared in numerous newspapers, including the Washington Post, USA Today, and the Chicago Sun-Times. He received his B.A. in political science with departmental honors from Ohio University in 2002.


We would like to thank Patrick Wolf for his help on this project.

About Education Working Papers

A working paper is a common way for academic researchers to make the results of their studies available to others as early as possible. This allows other academics and the public to benefit from having the research available without unnecessary delay. Working papers are often submitted to peer-reviewed academic journals for later publication.


Center for Civic Innovation.

School Choice Demonstration Project.


EWP 10 PDF (137 kb)


This study evaluates the initial effect of Washington, D.C.ís Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) on the academic performance of public schools and its effects on the opportunities that District students have to attend integrated schools. The OSP is a federally sponsored school voucher program that provides vouchers worth up to $7,500 for an estimated 1,800 to 2,000 students in the District of Columbia. Students can use the scholarships to pay tuition at participating private schools in the District. The pilot program is designed to last for five years.






Previous Research and Theoretical Expectations on the Effect of Vouchers on Public School Academic Performance

Previous Research and Theory on the Effect of Vouchers on Racial Integration

Evaluating the Effect of Vouchers on D.C. Public Schools After One Year

Results and Discussion of the Effect of Voucher Competition on Public School Academic Performance

Evaluating the Potential Effect of Vouchers on Racial Integration

Results and Discussion of Evaluation of Racial Integration in Public and Voucher Schools





Table 1: Effect of Voucher Competition on Public School Performance

Table 2: Measures of School Segregation

Figure 1: Percent Minority Enrollment in Deciles


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