ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Does School Choice Help Rural Children from Disadvantaged Sections?

Evidence from Longitudinal Research in Andhra Pradesh

Internationally, considerable research has been carried out on the subject of school choice or school vouchers. Recent evidence in other countries is mixed but increasingly pointing towards school choice not adding value in terms of curricular learning achievement. This paper presents findings from a large-scale five-year longitudinal research based on the randomised control trial methodology that was conducted in Andhra Pradesh. It finds that private schools add no value to children in terms of learning outcomes as compared to government schools. Children shifting to private schools under a scholarship programme perform no better than their government school counterparts even after five years of private schooling.

The author would like to thank several members of Azim Premji University for their suggestions and an anonymous referee of this journal for very valuable comments on an earlier draft. Andhra Pradesh in this article refers to the erstwhile undivided state. The views expressed in this paper are those of the author and may not necessarily refl ect the views of any of the other parties involved.

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