The Future of Vouchers As Educational Reform, Political Strategy, Economic Solution, And Public Policy in the United States. - Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table
Introduction School vouchers have not been proposed in a vacuum. Those who advocate vouchers, and those who oppose them, do so within a larger context of educational reform. The purpose of this policy research study is to examine that environment, in particular the varying ways in which vouchers are promoted as educational reform, as political strategy, as economic solution, and as public policy. Persistent controversy surrounding vouchers in the U.S. and the difficulty for policy researchers to measure the impact stem, in part, from these multiple roles that vouchers play in the minds of adherents and adversaries. This paper uses research data, court rulings, media reports, and proposed legislation to consider the many ways in which vouchers appear in this debate, demonstrating how the meaning of vouchers has evolved into this hydra of public policy. Further, the paper will identify limitations for the usefulness of vouchers in the future of U.S. public education.