Yes, The Duke Report on NC OSP is Junk

A week ago I quickly wrote about former NC Legislator Charles Jeter’s dramatic position change on the NC Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), which commonly referred to as vouchers.

Jeter’s Op-Ed received a swift and fierce reply from a Grandmother whose grandchild is thriving in the OSP.

Jeter  I had a bit of a dust-up on Twitter where he cited multiple studies backing his new position. These studies included a recent Duke Children’s Legal Clinic study which added to the dog-pile onto the OSP program.

I responded by pointing out how flawed their data was, how one of them didn’t even compare to the NC program and how parents were in essence being belittled.

Bob Luebke at Civitas took a closer look at the Duke report and found it as flawed as I had stated it was.

Luebke’s run-down of the study includes two key points beyond the fact that Duke has and always will be critical of the OSP:

  • Study acknowledges difficulties in making legitimate comparisons to students who remained in public schools; but made them anyway.
  • Incorrectly assumes more accountability equates with better academic results.

Quick snippet:

In the Executive Summary, the report makes the following statements:

Based on limited and early data, more than half the students using vouchers are performing below average on nationally-standardized reading, language, and math tests. In contrast, similar public school students in NC are scoring above the national average.

Then in making those claims the report later acknowledges in the section titled Public School Comparison that no “apples-to-apples” comparison can ever be made between voucher students and public school students.

It gets worse, Luebke notes that despite the report’s own citations,  comparisons were made anyway even though the samples represented just 14% and 22% of voucher students.

Luebke also appropriately blasts the report for making a mockery of parental choice and the underlying assumption in the Duke report that parents are incapable of determining if their child is receiving a good education or not.

In my Twitter conversation with Jeter, I said nearly the same things.  I’d link to that whole conversation, however it seems Jeter deleted his tweets.  All you will see of the exchange are my responses.

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