Voucher proponents, cross Sweden off your list of purported success stories.
Professor Henry M. Levin is a distinguished economist and director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
He recently participated in a conference in Sweden convened by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to review the evidence about the effects of vouchers, which were initiated in 1992. He learned that Swedish performance on international tests has declined since 1995, private school enrollments have grown, social stratification has increased, and the for-profit sector is thriving.
He wrote this post specifically for the blog. It provides important information about the effects of vouchers. We can learn from the Swedish experience, if we are willing to learn.
Professor Levin writes:
In 1992 Sweden adopted a voucher-type plan in which municipalities would provide the same funding per pupil to either public schools or independent (private) schools. There were few restrictions for independent schools, and religious…
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