Low-income students who go to private schools with tax-funded vouchers did not perform as well as public students on last fall's statewide achievement test.
The Department of Public Instruction said today that only 16-percent of youngsters in the Milwaukee school choice program were proficient or advanced in math. That compares to 31-percent of low-income students statewide, and 49-percent of all public school youngsters. This fall, around 500 students throughout the state took part in an expansion of the voucher program. Thirty-three percent of them had proficient or advanced math scores, slightly higher than the state average for low-income kids. Racine's choice program had 21-percent of youngsters in the top two categories in math. In reading, 37-percent of all public school youngsters were proficient or advanced, along with 21-percent of low-income public students. Other reading proficiency rates were 12-percent in the Milwaukee voucher program, 19-percent in Racine, and 33-percent in statewide voucher schools. Officials noted that Milwaukee's performance rates were six-and-a-half percent higher than two years ago in reading, and three-and-a-half percent higher in math.