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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Florida's special-ed students are doing very well: Is it choice?

In Florida, which pioneered school choice for special-needs students more than 20 years ago, students with disabilities are doing very well, writes Matthew Ladner on reimaginED.


McKay Scholarships let families of students with disabilities choose a public or private school that fits their child's needs.


Florida's special-needs students now score as well or better than all students in some states (New Mexico, West Virginia and Alaska) and multiple urban districts (Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Baltimore and Dallas), writes Ladner. In all but eight states, they outscore black students.


Is it choice? Florida also has a large charter-school sector, he points out. But it's hard to say. The state passed a number of education reforms, including a research-based literacy initiative, that seem to be improving achievement for other groups, such as Hispanics.


Texas is likely to expand school choice this year, predicts Jay Greene on the Heritage blog. "Parents in the outer suburbs and rural areas are increasingly noticing the disconnect between the values they wish to teach their children and what is being promoted in their schools."


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11 коментарів


Гість
03 груд. 2022 р.

If charter school or school choice is the key to helping students achieve, then the data should show that the NAEP scores for students in Florida exceed all other states. How can choice produce such tremendous benefits for special education students but cannot produce NAEP scores above average for non-special needs students?

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zeev
02 груд. 2022 р.

Florida had 14.7% of enrollment served under IDEA act. That is about average, with many states doing that for 17-18% and Pennsylvania for almost 20%! So the issue doesn't seem to be Florida over-classifying students as special ed, certanly no more than other states.


https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d21/tables/dt21_204.70.asp


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Гість
02 груд. 2022 р.

One should remember to take every data point that comes out of Florida with a huge grain of salt. When the current governor appointed an anti-vaxxer as the head of public health because the guy would tell the governor what he wanted to here, everything is suspect.

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Гість
02 груд. 2022 р.

How would school choice work in rural areas where there are few schools? Are parents going to give up football games and high school sports so that their child can attend a charter school?

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Гість
04 груд. 2022 р.
Коментар для:

It's always now surprising to hear anyone express concern for rural areas. But when a concern IS expressed it seems always to relate to why school choice can't possibly be implemented.

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Гість
02 груд. 2022 р.

Is there information on how different states classify "special needs" or what percentage of the student body qualifies? Because such a large gap suggests that maybe Florida is more willing to classify borderline kids than say, Alaska.

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lady_lessa
03 груд. 2022 р.
Коментар для:

I'm neither a statistician or a teacher, but is this idea possible? Could the data be sorted by when the student got accommodations? If younger, about when problems start to show up, then probably real. If older, just about the time college admissions etc is on the screen, then possibly fake.

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