February 10, 2015 Print

Test scores are a useful metric to determine how school choice helps students achieve better educational outcomes, but success on tests is only the tip of the iceberg in what parents hope their children will accomplish. A new and growing body of research is exploring how school choice affects “overall well being later in life,” according to a new review from the Centre for the Study of Market Reform of Education (CMRE), an Atlas Network partner in the United Kingdom.

CMRE highlights new research from a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper studying long-term effects of a school choice program in Tel-Aviv, Israel, which finds that the program not only increased test scores in the short-term, but also led over time to higher post-secondary enrollment, more years of schooling, and a 7–12 percent increase in earnings from the ages of 28 to 30.

The CMRE review notes that the study used “rigorous econometric methods to separate causation from correlation,” and found that disadvantaged pupils were among those who saw the most long-term gains.

Read the full CMRE review, “Free school choice effects on HE attainment, employment, earnings, and social outcomes in adulthood.”