By Bill Mattox, JMI Resident Fellow
A recent study of student performance in Milwaukee schools has evoked a lot of angst from some school choice advocates who were hoping this research would show dramatic differences in student achievement between charter school students and those attending “regular” public schools.Charles Murray’s take on this study is very thoughtful
(http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/05/opinion/05murray.html?emc=eta1).And Christian Schneider’s analysis of the Milwaukee study is very compelling . . . and very entertaining!
(http://www.wpri.org/Commentary/2010/4.10/Sc4.8.10/Sc4.8.10.html).Still, it’s important to note that Florida’s comprehensive educational reforms, which began under former Governor Jeb Bush, have stimulated significant increases in educational attainment for both public and private school students.Moreover, as Adam Schaeffer of the Cato Institute rightly observed in The Wall Street Journal recently (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703709804575202310888043490.html),Florida just passed a dramatic expansion in its school choice tax credit program that is a model for other states.So, even though Murray’s caveats and Schneider’s analogies are both very helpful, there’s no need for school choice advocates to hang their heads. Thanks to the choices Florida students now enjoy, the Sunshine State is seeing a rising tide of academic excellence that is lifting all boats.