A Think Twice Review of:
Feeling the Florida Heat? How Low-Performing Schools Respond to Voucher and Accountability Pressure
Think Twice - Jan 15, 2008
Publisher/Think Tank - Urban Institute’s National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research
This study examines whether Florida’s system of sanctions and incentives for its poorest performing schools has led to improved student achievement. It concludes that the system, including the threat of vouchers, appears to have spurred schools to improve practices and thereby improve performance.
Reviewer(s) - Damian Betebenner, National Center for Improvement of Educational Assessment
Thought Betebenner’s review commends the report for its thorough analysis of the data, he observes that a very prominent shortcoming is the report’s overstatement regarding the relationship between the pressure of accountability sanctions and improvements in school achievement. He notes that the report’s title and some of the statements in the body of the report suggest that vouchers and other accountability measures are the cause of the achievement gains despite the fact that there is no supporting evidence that such a causal connection exists.