Pro-Choice, Pro-Child

Conservative New York Times columnist John Tierney highlights a Florida Supreme Court case today over school choice. While the argument is old, the evidence he draws on is compelling.

As enrollment has dropped at Edison [a failing public high school], the student-to-teacher ratio has improved to about 22 from about 30. In the past two years, a new principal has revamped the administration and replaced half the teachers in the school. Under the new leadership, the average test score at the school last year rose dramatically - one of the largest increases of any high school in Florida.

Edison's improvement is not an isolated example, as three separate studies have found in Florida. Test scores have gone up more rapidly at schools facing the threat of vouchers than at other schools. The latest study, by Martin West and Paul Peterson of Harvard, shows that Florida's program is much more effective than the federal No Child Left Behind program.

Liberals' answer to these challenges should be to found excellent, cheap private secular schools. Instead, their response has been to demand that people pay more for and complain less about their existing public schools, whether good, bad or ugly.

Posted by Chops at June 7, 2005 11:11 AM