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Clarification on vouchers

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Rebekah Martindale states (Readers' Forum, Jan. 7) that the Harvard research we post on our Web site refutes the claim that school choice works for low-income children. The study referred to found that while 53 percent of the students used the voucher for three years, a full 24 percent of the children offered vouchers never used them, and some families only used them for a year or two.

Because we believe parents should have a choice in where their child attends school, we look upon this statistic as a positive outcome in support of choice.

While the study found that when you evaluate all students together the academic performance was equal among those using vouchers and those declining them, Martindale omitted the fact that this was not the case for African-American students, who are chronically the ones most hurt by our "one-size-fits-all" government schools.

African-American students using vouchers showed significant academic gains that increased the longer they stayed in private schools.

Carolyn Sharette

Executive director

Children First Utah

Salt Lake City