Share this

The School Choice Journey: School Vouchers and the Empowerment of Urban Families, Patrick J. Wolf and Thomas Stewart

Reviewed by Sean P. Corcoran



Thomas Stewart and Patrick J. Wolf’s new book provides an in-depth look at the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), a federally funded voucher that provides low-income students in Washington, DC, the opportunity to attend private school. In focusing on the qualitative experiences of parents, schools, and administrators, The School Choice Journey differentiates itself from other work on school choice, which is often more concerned with its politics or impact on student achievement. Other studies by Wolf (who is lead evaluator of the OSP) and his colleagues have found that the voucher had no effect on test scores but a large positive effect on high school graduation and parent satisfaction.

The School Choice Journey uses five years of interviews, surveys, and focus groups to examine how parents and other stakeholders engaged with the OSP over time and to identify its strengths and weaknesses. Stewart and Wolf are particularly interested in the question of whether the “school choice journey” can transform parents “from passive clients of government services to informed consumers of educational options and ...empowered citizens willing and able to shape public policy” (p. 6). They hypothesize that by engaging families traditionally left behind, school choice can have antipoverty effects beyond its impact on sch

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor


Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.


Book Talk | Phantoms of a Beleaguered Republic: The Deep State and the Unitary Executive
May 24, 2022


Editor’s spotlight

Women's History Month

Woodrow Wilson, Alice Paul, and the Woman Suffrage Movement
Sally Hunter Graham

The Year of the Woman? Candidates, Voters, and the 1992 Elections
Ester R. Fuchs and Michael X. Delli Carpini


Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

New APS Book

Perspectives on Presidential Elections, 1992–2020   PERSPECTIVES ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, 1992–2020

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS