The Fordham Institute supports school choice, done right. That means designing voucher and tax-credit policies that provide an array of high-quality education options for kids that are also accountable to parents and taxpayers. In that vein, Fordham has created the Public accountability & private-school choice toolkit to help with the design of strong outcomes-based accountability in private-school-choice programs.
We recommend that states
- Require that all students who receive a voucher (or tax-credit scholarship) participate in state assessments. (While we prefer state assessments as policy, we think any widely respected test that allows for ready comparison against other schools or districts is a reasonable compromise);
- Mandate public disclosure of those assessment results, school by school, save for schools that enroll fewer than ten voucher (or scholarship) students in grades that are tested; and
- Use a sliding scale when it comes to acting on the test results—i.e., private schools that derive little of their revenue from programs of this kind should be largely left alone, while those that receive more of their dollars from state initiatives should be held more accountable.
This toolkit was updated in June 2014 to reflect that mandating nationally norm-referenced tests is a reasonable compromise for accountability measures in these programs.
Public accountability & private-school choice: Infographic
If you have questions about the book, please email Amber Northern.