Univ. of Arkansas Study Finds School Choice “Significantly Associated with Higher NAEP Achievement”

Senator Berger Press Shop
2 min readMar 30, 2021

Study: “Expanding parental options in education, in all its forms, is consistent with improvements in average student performance”

Study: “Per pupil spending amounts have no significant association with NAEP outcomes”

Sens. Ballard and Lee: “The data supporting school choice is overwhelming. How long will political allegiance to the teachers’ union withhold progress?”

Raleigh, N.C. — The University of Arkansas is out with yet more evidence that school choice is associated with improved student outcomes, and that the constant demand from teachers’ unions for more money is not associated with improved student outcomes.

The researchers reviewed student outcomes as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card,” in areas with high levels of education freedom and low levels of education freedom.

The study concluded, “We find that higher levels of education freedom are significantly associated with higher NAEP achievement levels and higher NAEP achievement gains in all our statistical models…The extent to which school choice programs are regulated by state governments, along with per-pupil spending amounts and class sizes, in contrast, have no consistent significant association with state-level student NAEP outcomes.”

As for policy prescriptions, the researchers show “this descriptive analysis supports the idea that expanding parental options in education, in all its forms, is consistent with improvements in average student performance for U.S. states.”

The North Carolina legislature has for many years fought to expand school choice. Legislators eliminated the cap on charter schools and created the Opportunity Scholarship program, which provides grants to low- and middle-income families to allow them to send their children to the school of their choice.

Gov. Roy Cooper and the far-left N.C. Association of Educators have vehemently opposed school choice policies despite evidence showing the benefit of those policies to children.

Gov. Cooper’s most recent budget proposal eliminates Opportunity Scholarship funding.

Sens. Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga) and Michael Lee (R-New Hanover), who co-chair the Senate Education Committee, said, “The evidence that school choice is best for kids is overwhelming. Yet, because of political loyalty to the far-left NCAE, Gov. Cooper continues to ignore the science. For all the left’s talk of ‘equity,’ Democrats in North Carolina wish to eliminate the Opportunity Scholarship program and ensure that a private education is only available to the wealthy elite.”



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