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Sunday, 12th December 2010

Demography Is Still Not Destiny

Demography Is Still Not Destiny
Source: Pacific Research Institute

Florida’s low-income, Hispanic, and black fourth graders now outperform all California fourth graders on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading assessment according to a policy brief released today by the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a California-based think tank. Demography Is Still Not Destiny attributes this striking gap to Florida’s comprehensive education reform efforts combining accountability, transparency, and parental choice. Authors Vicki E. Murray, Ph.D., PRI associate director of Education Studies, and Matthew Ladner, Ph.D., vice president of research at the Goldwater Institute, recommend enacting similar reforms in California.
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Demography is Still Not Destiny outlines Florida’s broad efforts to improve student performance by instituting a variety of curricular and incentive-based reforms, placing pressure both from the top down and the bottom up on schools to improve. Areas that deserve attention include:

  • Parental choice
  • Social promotion
  • Alternative teacher certification
  • Curriculum reform
  • Letter grades for schools
  • Standards weighting
  • Literacy reforms
  • Performance bonuses for teachers and schools

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