For the first time in three years, researchers will be able to compare how students in North Carolina's voucher program compare to their peers in public school.
Private school students take different standardized tests than those taken in public schools. Their results aren't public information unless more than a quarter of students use vouchers.
Parents, educators, and policymakers debate the effectiveness of voucher programs, and the federal education department recently published a study showing voucher students in Washington, D.C. scored worse on standardized tests than their peers.
Now, researchers at N.C. State University found student volunteers in the voucher program and public schools willing to take a common test. They have connected with hundreds of student volunteers in the voucher program and in public schools willing to take the Iowa Assessment test.
The results could offer researchers insights into the efficacy of the state's $20-million school voucher program, at a time when Republican legislators are seeking to pump more money into the program.