A Harvard professor responded to an New York Times article critical of his study on school vouchers yesterday, writing a letter to the Times defending his work and suggesting that the article exaggerated the criticism.
Last Friday, the Times reported that Mathematica Policy Research, a think tank that provides academic data, took the unusual step of questioning the conclusions of a school vouchers study by Shattuck Professor of Government Paul E. Peterson.
Yesterday, Peterson and his colleagues wrote a joint letter to the Times suggesting that the article generated controversy where there was none to be found.
"Your story suggests a level of disagreement among researchers that simply does not exist," the authors write.
The two-year study found that, in three different cities, vouchers had a statistically significant effect in raising the test scores of black students although no corollary effect was seen for other racial groups.
Peterson's findings were quickly picked up by voucher supporters and lauded as some of the first genuine evidence in favor of the use of vouchers.
But last week's press release by Mathematica called the validity of the study into doubt, questioning Peterson's use of data. The release prompted Kate Zernicke's article, "New Doubt is Cast on Study that Backs Voucher Effects," in Friday's Times.
The release claimed the New York segment of the study shows "no overall difference in test scores between those who were offered vouchers and those who were not."
Study Links Test Scores With School ConditionsIn a new twist to the nature-versus-nature debate raging in the academic and popular literature, two professors have published a
LettersPornography, Not Modesty, Encourages Sexual Assault To the editors: Mikhaela Reid's editorial cartoon (Cartoon, April 27) is egregious for its
Publicly Funded Parochial Schools?One nation under God? As apathy and low moral confidence spread, Americans are increasingly advocating a publicly funded return to
NPR Panelists Discuss School Vouchers at GSEPanelists for National Public Radio (NPR) debated the usefulness of private school vouchers before an audience of 200 in Gutman
Vouchers Are Not the AnswerTo the editors: Vasant M. Kamath claims (Op-ed, April 27) that vouchers for private schools would "alleviate the crisis in
A Lesson in LibertyD own but not out, educational voucher propositions live on. The disheartening defeat of California's voucher initiative, Proposition 174, on