Policy Wonks

New Stanford data cause for investigation but not alarm in Florida

Stanford’s Sean F. Reardon released a new data tool last week allowing the user to view academic scores and gains by school, district (with charters included) and county. One of the visualization tools allows you to track the academic growth in grades 3-8 for every school covering those grades in[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…]

Power of Choice sign

‘Paramount duty’ never intended as weapon against school choice

Editor’s note: Misinformation abounds across the education choice landscape, adding confusion to an already complex issue. The redefinED team is dedicated to shining a light and providing the facts. Today’s post debunks a long-standing misconception: The state constitution says free public schools are the sole means for the state to[Read More…]

Private school choice in Florida: more programs than rest of American South combined

I wrote in my last column about a new presentation on education in the American South from Bellwether Education Partners, a national nonprofit focused on changing education and life outcomes for underserved children. As I noted, Bellwether Education partners tabulated the number of K-12 students participating in private choice programs[Read More…]


To compare state test scores, adjust for their demographics

Critics denying the achievement gains of Florida’s K-12 students often do so after comparing state achievement with a whiter and wealthier national average. Only one critic has been bold enough to actually single out a whiter and wealthier state for comparison with the Sunshine State. Lauren Ritchie, a columnist at[Read More…]


American achievement gaps in international context

The Economist published an interesting article recently titled, “How Chile combines competition and public funding.” The piece included a graphic demonstrating how Chilean students fared on the Program for International Student Assessment, an international test that every three years measures reading, mathematics and science literacy of 15-year-olds. The assessment also[Read More…]

Money is fungible, not magical

Critics have spilled considerable ink attacking Florida’s proposed Family Empowerment Scholarship. The voucher would cost about $100 million and allow at least 15,000 low- and working-class students to attend private schools. “I’m afraid it will do damage to the regular public schools in the state of Florida,” said Sen. Bill[Read More…]