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FYI: A much-touted study that found black New York City students who use vouchers to go to private schools perform better than their peers is sparking renewed controversy, according to an Education Week report. In early 2002, a Mathematica study declared that a group of black students who won privately-financed vouchers in a 1997 lottery ranked 5.5 percent higher on standardized tests taken three years later than did the students who applied for but did not get vouchers. A Princeton University researcher thought the results odd, given that other racial groups in the study didn't experience the voucher-bump, and re-ran the data. The Princeton study, released earlier this month, said the original study used overly narrow racial definitions and left out about 500 students who didn't take “baseline” standardized tests. Once these oversights were corrected, the achievement difference between those who did and did not win vouchers disappeared. [4/11/03]

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