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By Brian P. Gill, Michael Timpane, Karen E. Ross, Dominic J. Brewer, Kevin Booker

Vouchers and constitution faculties goal to enhance schooling through delivering households with extra selection of their kid's education young children and by way of decentralizing provision of academic providers. This publication studies the theoretical foundations for vouchers and constitution colleges and offers new facts in their effectiveness in educational success. It additionally examines results in relatives selection, equitable entry, racial/ethnic integration, and civic socialization. thoughts are made for designing voucher and constitution guidelines.

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We discuss the policy significance of these and other differences between vouchers and charters in Chapter Two. As a political matter, vouchers are more controversial than charters are. Because charter schools receive government approval and are nonsectarian, they have come to be regarded as a species of “publicschool choice”—a concept that has great popular appeal. Vouchers, by contrast, are often regarded as a threat to the very existence of public education. This dichotomy, however, obscures important common elements underlying the two.

Policymakers need empirical information on their likely effects in order to assess their merits. Although both sides of the debate about vouchers and charters occasionally attempt to bolster their claims with research evidence, the debate is too often conducted without a sound empirical underpinning. Our intention is to illuminate the empirical evidence relevant to the debate. We believe (and argue later in this chapter) that, unlike other reform proposals, charters and vouchers pose fundamental challenges to America’s existing system of K–12 schooling.

30 PUBLIC POLICY AND PRIVATE CHOICE: A NOTE ON THE SCOPE OF OUR INQUIRY In this book, we are concerned with public policies that promote parental choice among privately operated schools. Many families exercise school choice in the absence of government intervention, either by choosing a school district or attendance zone in which to live or by paying private-school tuition. S. Constitution places these kinds of choices beyond the realm of government regulation. 31 Voucher and charter programs, our focus, are public policies with the specific purpose of increasing the range of educational choices available.

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