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Accountability in Action 2017: The Impact of Fiscal Accountability and Parental Choice on the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

August 1, 2017
By Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty

The Impact Of Fiscal Accountability And Parental Choice On The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

From the Executive Summary:

"After 27 years of school choice in Milwaukee, the debate over private school vouchers has shifted away from their mere existence towards whether – and how – accountability provisions should impact the ability of private schools to participate in the program. The education community is divided over this question. Some argue that test-based accountability should sanction poor-performing schools of all types, others argue that parental school choice, fiscal, and market forces are the strongest forms of accountability and are the measures that should be utilized. Yet despite the amount of ink spilled on the topic, there has been little quantifiable research conducted. This study addresses that research gap. It comprehensively reviews the extent and impact of accountability regulations affecting the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) and also analyzes the role of parental accountability. This pioneering report describes the scope of the accountability regime and presents a statistical analysis that estimates its impact. We find, through the use of a rigorous econometric model, that the accountability system culls poorperforming and unsafe schools from the program and allows high quality schools to grow. The system anticipates factors associated with poor-performing schools and their eventual failure."