A 2004 study concluded that school results in public schools improved due to the increased competition. However, Per Thulberg, director general of the Swedish National Agency for Education, has said that the system "has not led to better results" and in the 2000s Sweden's ranking in the PISA league tables worsened. Though Rachel Wolf, director of the New Schools Network, has suggested that Sweden's education standards had slipped for reasons other than as a result of free schools....
In the 1980s, the Reagan administration pushed for vouchers, as did the George W. Bush administration in the initial education-reform proposals leading up to the No Child Left Behind Act. As of December 2016, 17 states plus the District of Columbia had enacted school voucher programs. When including scholarship tax credits and education savings accounts - two alternatives to vouchers - there are 27 states plus the District of Columbia with private school choice programs. Most of these programs were offered to students in low-income families, low performing schools, or students with disabilities. By 2014, the number participating in either vouchers or tax-credit scholarships increased to 250,000, a 30% increase from 2010, but still a small fraction compared to the 55 million in traditional schools.
Recent analysis of the competitive effects of school vouchers in Florida suggests that more competition improves performance in the regular public schools.