Cascade Policy Institute Research Finds School Choice Programs Can Improve Participants’ Academic Performance and Educational Attainment

February 15, 2023


Cascade Policy Institute
4850 SW Scholls Ferry Rd., Ste. 103
Portland, OR 97225

Media Contact:

Eric Fruits, Ph.D.
Office: (503) 242-0900

Portland, Ore. – A new report published by Cascade Policy Institute finds that school choice programs such as vouchers and education savings accounts (ESAs) are associated with improved academic performance and educational achievement.

The report, “Research Shows Voucher Programs Boost Test Scores and Improve Educational Attainment” reviews decades of research evaluating the relationship between school choice programs and student outcomes. These studies report that voucher participants are more likely to have higher reading scores than those who don’t participate in the voucher program, although math scores are more mixed. In addition, existing research indicates that voucher participants are more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college than those who don’t participate in the voucher program.

The research also suggests that voucher programs have a more marked improvement in city-level studies than statewide studies. This is, in part, because urban areas provide more—and possibly better—private school options than smaller or rural communities.

Eric Fruits, Cascade’s Vice President of Research, notes, “Evidence generally shows school voucher programs are associated with improved academic achievement and educational attainment.” According to Fruits, “School choice programs provide families with options for their children’s education that they would not have otherwise.”

About Cascade Policy Institute: Founded in 1991, Cascade Policy Institute is Oregon’s free-market public policy research center. Cascade’s mission is to explore and promote public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility, and economic opportunity. For more information, visit

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