(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
Robert Enlow brings it in today’s Indianapolis Star. Money quote:
Bush argued for a comprehensive package of reforms, all of which were critical to Florida’s success. In his remarks to the Education Roundtable, clear accountability (grading schools), good incentives (merit pay) and real consequences (school choice) were inextricably linked. Without each component working together, success would not have been possible, a fact evidenced by a recent study showing that improvement among failing public schools went from double digits to zero after the Florida Supreme Court removed the school voucher option.
Moreover, it was critical to assign each school a letter grade. Without that clear and easy-to-understand letter grade, there simply would not have been the same level of academic improvement among schools.
As someone who fought alongside Gov. Bush in 1999 as he passed his reform package, I can state with confidence that both letter grades and parental school choice were essential to eventual success of the Florida accountability plan. The Star should consider supporting the whole package of common-sense reforms, not just some of the pieces.