Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Impacts After One Year
School choice remains an important part of the national discussion on education reform
strategies and their benefits. While a variety of policies encourage parents’ selection of schools for their children?for example, charter schools, magnet schools, and district open enrollment?scholarships that allow students to attend a private school have received the most attention. The U.S. Congress’ passage of
the District of Columbia School Choice Incentive Act of 2003 in January 2004 provided a unique
opportunity not only to implement a system of private school choice for low-income students in the District, but also to rigorously assess the effects of the Program on students, parents, and the existing school system. This report describes the first-year impacts of the Program on those who applied for and were given the option to move from a public school to a participating private school of their choice.