Recently, the long-awaited report of the longitudinal study of MPS and voucher school students was released. http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/41868652.html
What is getting the most attention is one result of the study that says students do about as well academically as voucher students over the course of one year. Never mind that the reason for it may well be another (albeit far less reported on) result from the same report: that those MPS students who live near more choice schools do better than their MPS peers who do not. That is to say, that where there is choice available, MPS students do better. If the choice schools are teaching the voucher students better and making MPS teach students better, then you might expect to see similar outcomes. It may be that competition improves everyone.
In fact, this echoes some of the early research of the voucher program–that MPS schools in the vicinity of other opportunities improve themselves. The report reads:
Using an individual fixed-effects model with a novel measure of systemic effects, we find that students in
Milwaukee fare better academically when they have more free private options through the voucher program. It appears that Milwaukee public schools are more attentive to the academic needs of students when those students have more opportunities to leave those schools. This finding is robust across several different specifications of the model. http://www.uark.edu/ua/der/SCDP/Milwaukee_Eval/Report_11.pdf
That kind of seems important, especially when MPS is chaulk full of different projects that have never been known to increase academic achievement (or at least were never proven to do so).