Shining a bright light on flaws in Duke University study of North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship Program
Jul 14, 2017 | 511 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

 (WASHINGTON, DC) – A white paper produced by Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC) “is not only a victory for scholarship programs but for honesty in research,” according to Jeanne Allen, Founder and CEO of the Center for Education Reform.

The paper, developed by PEFNC’s Brian Jodice, catalogs an array of unbalanced comparisons, selective use of test performance data and unfair, unjustified conclusions that are among the many flaws in a recent Duke University study critical of the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program.

“The data analysis strategy for the Duke report is poorly designed, using both different comparison groups and different tests,” Allen pointed out. “Moreover, scholarship students who tend to be predominantly from lower-income families are matched against a national sampling of students who come from a cross-section of socio-economic backgrounds, creating an apples-to-oranges comparison,” she added.

“The Duke study completely ignores the good news from the North Carolina program and other school choice programs around the nation,” Allen noted.  “More than half of the 740 private schools in North Carolina participate in the program and more than 90 percent of first-year enrollees opt to enroll their children for a second year – arguably, the most important statistic of all.”

Read Allen's full statement here.


Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education.

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