There is an interesting story from Students for Liberty sharing both the personal experiences of the author and current statistical trends on education choice in Florida. From the piece (click here to read the whole article):
More options have resulted in greater success. As William Mattox recently said in a school choice policy brief by the James Madison Institute, “Our state, which once trailed most other states according to various measures of student achievement, staged an incredible turnaround in the ﬁrst decade of the 21st Century.” A 2012 study found that Sunshine State fourth grade students scored higher in reading than students in 48 of the 52 educational systems tested across the world, keeping pace with students in Finland and Hong Kong. Equally significant, Florida’s low-income and minority students outscored the international average on the PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) test.
Mattox argues, and I am in agreement, that much of Florida’s success can be attributed to the rise in high quality alternative educational methods and opportunities, which help students of all backgrounds and abilities. For example, digital education in Florida is ranked third in the nation and Florida Virtual School Students (46% are minority students) had a higher passing rate than the state average on 11 of 15 Advanced Placement tests.
I’m increasingly convinced that greater school choice is the future of education in the United States. Our public schools are not producing the results parents demand, and no amount of increased funding seems to matter. Our testing results are underwhelming, even embarrassing, compared to the numbers in many other nations. Alternatives are key, and when parents see these options producing better results, there will be increasing pressure for more and more options over the next several years. It will be interesting to see what “public education” looks like a few decades from now.
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