Cover: The Alum Rock Voucher Demonstration: Three Years of Implementation

The Alum Rock Voucher Demonstration: Three Years of Implementation

Published 1976

by E. Levinson

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1.6 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

The Alum Rock demonstration was a first attempt to install vouchers within a public school system. The intent of a voucher system is to allow parent choice rather than bureaucratic decisions to determine the allocation of educational resources. In actual operation however, the Alum Rock School District, San Jose, California, was changed into a decentralized, open enrollment system, in which the supply of educational options was largely determined by the educational bureaucracy. This study concludes: (1) It was probably impossible to implement a pure voucher system. (2) The Alum Rock experiment has been useful in evaluating the feasibility of voucher systems. (3) The decentralization necessary for the operation of a voucher system was not congruent with the centralizing constraints of the school district's operation. Such constraints include the education code, fiscal liability, and teacher contracts. (4) The incremental implementation of the voucher system allowed for modification of the innovation and prevented its implementation as originally planned.

This report is part of the RAND paper series. The paper was a product of RAND from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.