This paper from the Heritage Foundation summarizes the best research on the impact of school choice programs. The conclusion?
A growing body of empirical evidence demonstrates the many positive benefits of providing choice in education. Instead of policies to increase spending on the public education system, states and local school districts would better serve students by empowering parents with control over their share of education funding.
The Foundation’s Criminal Justice Initiative pushed the problems to the forefront, proposed practical solutions, brought in leaders from other states to share examples, and created this nonpartisan opportunity. (At the signing of the 2012 Criminal Justice Reform bill.)