Milwaukee’s Voucher Graduates: More evidence of ‘what works.’

President Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget calls for a 9% increase in federal education spending, and he has famously said that the money should go to “what works” in education. So he ought to take another look at Milwaukee, where the nation’s oldest and largest publicly funded school voucher program is showing academic gains. A report released last week by School Choice Wisconsin, an advocacy group, finds that between 2003 and 2008 students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program had a significantly higher graduation rate than students in Milwaukee Public Schools. “Had MPS graduation rates equalled those for MPCP students in the classes of 2003 through 2008, the number of MPS graduates would have been about 18 percent higher,” writes John Robert Warren of the University of Minnesota. “That higher rate would have resulted in 3,352 more MPS graduates during the 2003-2008 years.”