“Because the results occurred among the targeted group of inner-city, African-American students in these cities, Utah should be very hopeful that our largest minority student population of Hispanics will receive the most help as well,” said Paul T. Mero, president of Sutherland Institute.
The studies also revealed benefits for the public school systems in the areas where vouchers have been implemented. For example, the largest gains in math, science, and social studies among Milwaukeepublic schools occurred in those competing with voucher schools. Mero attributes this substantial gain to schools being more in tune with and more focused on getting parents involved, in both public and private schools.
“The empirical evidence underscoring the correlation between increased academic achievement and higher parental involvement is overwhelming,” added Mero. “In passing HB 148, Utah legislators took a giant step toward increasing parental involvement in our education system, which should pay tremendous dividends in academic performance.”
Katia Cook, a Hispanic mother from West Jordan who worked for the Granite School District for three years, said she volunteered at her son’s public school, but was not satisfied by the curriculum, the level of difficulty, and the large class sizes. “I have since put all three of my kids in private school and have noticed a dramatic improvement in their academic performance, especially when compared to all of the other kids in our neighborhood. I think, too, that as they’ve seen me sacrifice – going in to debt and taking on extra jobs just for them – this has made them want to do their best.”
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