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A Research-Based Case For Florida's Education Reforms


The grading system is really a proxy for what schools actually did in response to their grades. So, it is misleading to tell states this grading approach is something that can work without also making clear what effective policies it produced. If the Urban Institute study is right, for example, this is where the focus should go: " We find that schools receiving an “F” grade are more likely to focus on low- performing students, lengthen the amount of time devoted to instruction, adopt different ways to organize the day and learning environment of the students and teachers, increase resources available to teachers, and decrease principal control. . ." An of course, yes, yes, yes, this is all an associational not causal connection. But, hey, if these associational observations about results are worth making, then it is also noteworthy (as the Institute study acknowledges) that these "effective" policies also cost money. Grading systems by themselves are probably a lot cheaper.

How are the reforms you mentioned (other than vouchers) "market-based"?

What about the class size that came about in 2002 amendment, why do they never mention it and can't we attribute any improvement to that? Jeb Bush and Gary Chartrand the chair of the state board of ed regularly attack it but its implementation roughly corresponds with the improvements they tout.

Good point by Chris- this in-house piece ignores (like Jeb Bush) the class size mandates. Any evaluation that does not take that into consideration (Di Carlo ignores it too) is suspect and invalid. You cannot claim the reason "A" is working is because of "B" if there is a "C" to consider. This is basic. Class size ain't no market based reform. Also- playing into the game that these test scores actually matter is also problematic. Very odd post.

Part Two: Not that I think test scores matter but to play Di Carlo's game - in the last 5-6 years we have seen widening gaps and numbers below national public school averages (NAEP) in FL. With graduation rates for Black males below Mississippi and widening gaps between poor and middle class students on many levels - Di Carlo misses the mark. FL rigs cut scores to get results they want. Di Carlo also makes a fanatical leap from 3rd grade retention to "positive" results. Huh? In FL 25% of students graduate with waivers ( don't have to meet many requirements) and can buy credit for about $300 a semester. Apparently unfamiliar with how things really work in the state, Di Carlo's mistakes and assumptions results in a failed attempt.


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