My colleague CJ Szafir and I have a piece up on National Review regarding threats by the US Department of Justice against school choice.
Regarding my response to Politifact, let me extend my remarks.
I was interested in the weight that Politifact put on the fact that the increase in reading scores among choice students was in the fourth year when test scores became public. This doesn't strike me as a significant criticism of the results because both MPS and MPCP schools were subject to that requirement.
The idea that the increase in high school graduation rates can be dismissed because some students returned to an MPS school seems even an weaker criticism. Most choice students will not graduate from a private high school because, at least until recently (and still to a significant degree), the voucher amount was inadequate to cover the cost of high school education. Still, the fact that someone was a choice student significantly increased the likelihood that he or she would graduate from high school.
How that can be "no evidence" of improved student learning is beyond me.
I understand that, in attempting to defend their rating, Politifact has cited Patrick Wolf - one of the researchers involved in the Arkansas study (and who remains a passionate advocate for choice) - saying that to say there was no evidence of improvement is "a bit of a stretch." That's passingly odd. Something that is a stretch can hardly be "mostly true."
Again, much of the problem lies in the Truth-O-Meter emoticons which are not applied consistently and probably can't be. As I have written before, the series - at least by local writers - is worth having. I often learn things. The Truth-O-Meter is entertainment and not news. Here it obscured rather than illuminated.
Cross posted at Purple Wisconsin.