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A Think Twice Review of:

Renewing our Cities: A Case Study on School Choice’s Role in Urban Renewal / CPR Scholarships: Using Private School Choice to Attack Concentrated Poverty, Crime, and Unemployment

Think Twice - Jun 20, 2017

Publisher/Think Tank - American Enterprise Institute

Author(s) - David Harrison, and Jing Zhao, Bartley Danielsen, David Harrison, and Jing Zhao

EdChoice and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) released reports suggesting that expanded school choice would promote economic development in economically distressed urban areas. The EdChoice report was a case study on the relocation decisions of families in an urban charter school, while the AEI report calls for a voucher-like program to spur economic development by luring higher income families into neighborhoods. While the EdChoice report is an empirical paper, the AEI report only consists of a hypothetical proposal for a voucher program aimed at promoting economic development in high-poverty neighborhoods.

Reviewer(s) - Jennifer Jellison Holme and Emily Germain, University of Texas Austin

An academic review of the reports finds that both reports make unsupported claims that rely on flawed logic and data. The reviewers also note that both reports use selective research evidence and overlook other studies that contradict their claims. In their conclusion, the reviewers say: “the reports offer little guidance for policymakers seeking to reform urban schools, to support low-income students, or to uplift urban neighborhoods.”