Jason Bedrick on Overregulating School Choice

If there’s a silver lining on the homogenous new “Common Core” educational standards, it is that over a dozen states have responded by providing or expanding educational choice opportunities to their citizens. Research has consistently shown that increasing choice and competition in education improves outcomes – at least for the students who have been lucky enough to participate in the handful of experiments with charter schools, vouchers, education savings accounts and the like. However, a new study on a Louisiana voucher program has unearthed a troubling finding for supporters of a freer market in education. Students zoned to failing public schools who applied for and received a voucher by lottery performed worse on math and English tests than those who lost the voucher lottery in the first two years of the voucher program. Jason Bedrick, a policy analyst with Cato’s Center for Educational Freedom, has a theory on the outlier research paper. He joins Bob to solve the puzzle.