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Title:  Quick Review of the Report "Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Final Report"
Description: The WWC quick review of the report "Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Final Report" examines a study on whether winning a lottery for the Opportunity Scholarship Program, which offers vouchers to students to attend private schools, improved low-income students' reading and math achievement and their probability of graduating from high school. Key outcomes were reading and math achievement on standardized tests for the full sample and, for a subset of 500 students scheduled to complete 12th grade by spring 2009, parent reports on whether their children earned a high school diploma. The study found that winning a lottery for a private school scholarship did not have statistically significant effects on reading and math achievement. However, students who won the scholarship lottery were significantly more likely to graduate from high school: 82% for the group that won the lottery compared with 70% for the group that lost the lottery, an effect size of 0.26. Similar results were found for the subset of students attending schools designated as “in need of improvement” under the No Child Left Behind Act when they applied for a scholarship. Winning the lottery did not have a statistically significant effect on reading or math achievement, but it increased the likelihood of high school graduation from 66% to 79%, an effect size of 0.28. The WWC rated the research described in this report as meeting WWC evidence standards. This study was equivalent to a randomized controlled trial because the groups of students contrasted in the study were formed by lottery.
Online Availability:
Cover Date: March 2011
Web Release: March 8, 2011
Publication #: WWC QRDCSF0308
Center/Program: WWC
Associated Centers: NCEE
Type of Product: Quick Review
Questions: For questions about the content of this Quick Review, please contact:
NCES WebMaster.