Author: Doug Tuthill

podcastED: Progress report on nation’s first ESA for public school students

The first year of a groundbreaking scholarship program foreshadowing the future of public education is in the books in Florida. The Reading Scholarship Account is the nation’s first educational savings account for public school students. Every third-, fourth- and fifth-grade student in the Sunshine State scoring below a 3 on[Read More…]

Patricia Levesque describes public education in the year 2039

If you hopped in Doc Brown’s DeLorean and traveled to the year 2039, what would your utopian public education system look like? That’s the question Step Up For Students President Doug Tuthill posed to Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation For Excellence in Education, on this episode of PodcastED. For[Read More…]

PodcastED: How education choice serves special needs students

Educational choice supporters believe that the future of public education looks a lot like growing models and services available to students with unique abilities. For instance, the Gardiner Scholarship will serve approximately 14,000 students in Florida this upcoming school year. The scholarship is an educational savings account for families of[Read More…]

Disparities in political power undermine education equity

Those of us who are career educators know the veracity of the old saying, “Every education decision is a political decision.” This is especially evident in how school districts and their elected school boards distribute resources. In most school districts, affluent families with political influence have access to more and[Read More…]

education choice

Tribal bias often trumps facts in ed choice debates

Every legislative session the debates surrounding education choice remind me how our perceptions of reality are influenced by our cognitive biases, and why teaching students (and adults) about these biases is so important. Opponents of education choice regularly attack these programs for, among other things, taking money away from district[Read More…]


The Hypocrisy of the For-Profit Attack

The term “for-profit” has been weaponized in public education by teachers unions and their tribal allies. They wield it against education improvement initiatives they oppose, especially education choice programs not covered by collective bargaining agreements. (Choice programs not operating under collective bargaining, such as Florida’s Voluntary PreK program, are not[Read More…]

How public education can learn from the health care reform debate

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis caused an uproar recently when he commented that all publicly-funded K-12 education services are part of public education. He was speaking about a proposed new education voucher program that, if it becomes law, will give low-income and working-class families public funds to help pay for private[Read More…]

revisitED: Customization can lead to eliminating school grades and better accountability

The state of Florida’s latest annual report on the performance of students receiving tax credit scholarships contained these facts: 22.9 percent of scholarship students came from public schools rated “D” or “F” in the prior school year, while 30.3 percent of came from public schools rated “A” or “B.” School[Read More…]