A Think Twice Review of:
Review of Florida Versus Kentucky: School Choice Improves Public School Performance, Too
Think Twice - Jul 15, 2021
Publisher/Think Tank - Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions
Author(s) - Samuel E. Abrams and Steven J. Koutsavlis
A recent report from Kentucky's Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions claims, with little supporting evidence, that trends from the 1990s to 2019 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) show that choice programs catalyze significant educational improvement.
Reviewer(s) - Sam Abrams and Steven Koutsavlis, Teachers College, Columbia University
Sam Abrams and Steven Koutsavlis of Teachers College, Columbia University, reviewed Florida Versus Kentucky: School Choice Improves Public School Performance, Too, and determined that its findings fall far short in proving the efficacy of school choice programs. This review rejects that determination for two reasons, both related to the cherry-picking of Florida as the comparison state. First, the report overlooks the intensity of Florida's focus on preparing students for annual state exams in reading and math since the implementation of its A+ Accountability Plan in 1999, which appears to have had a substantial impact on the state's NAEP scores. Second, in focusing on Florida, the report fails to acknowledge that the majority of the 10 states with the most choice programs (as measured by percentage of students enrolled in charter schools) fell short of Kentucky in posting gains on NAEP over this time period.