School & District Management

State Journal

March 21, 2001 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Choice Words

Debate over Florida’s voucher program appears to have shifted from the Capitol grounds in Tallahassee to the halls of academe.

Two Rutgers University scholars are disputing some of the conclusions of a recent study indicating that students in schools facing the threat of vouchers had made greater gains on state tests than those in other low-performing schools.

In the study released last month, author Jay P. Greene, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute in New York City, concluded that “an accountability system with vouchers as the sanction for repeated failures really motivates students to improve.” (“Study Finds ‘Voucher Effect’ in Fla. Test Gains,” Feb. 21, 2001.)

But in a recent critique of Mr. Greene’s study published in a scholarly journal, the Education Policy Analysis Archives, two professors from Rutgers in New Brunswick, N.J., assert that “it is simply not clear whether or not the threat of vouchers is having a positive impact on student test scores.”

Gregory Camilli, a professor in the department of educational psychology at Rutgers, who was a co-author of the critique, said that some of the methods Mr. Greene used to analyze the Florida data were questionable, including his decision to lump together test scores from various grade levels rather than analyze them separately.

“It’s been claimed elsewhere that the effect of the Florida program has been proven,” Mr. Camilli said. “In our minds, there still remains work to be done.” He wrote the critique with Katrina E. Bulkley, an assistant professor in Rutgers’ department of educational theory, policy, and administration.

Mr. Greene posted a formal reply on the Manhattan Institute’s site on the World Wide Web at In the reply, Mr. Greene defended his study and called the critique “almost a textbook for how to do a hatchet job on positive results that one wishes to make go away.”

—Jessica L. Sandham

A version of this article appeared in the March 21, 2001 edition of Education Week


Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Personalized Learning Webinar
No Time to Waste: Individualized Instruction Will Drive Change
Targeted support and intervention can boost student achievement. Join us to explore tutoring’s role in accelerating the turnaround. 
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools
Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Meaningful
Join us for this event with educators and experts on the damage the pandemic did to academic and social and emotional well-being.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Quick Hacks: How Schools Can Cut Costs and Help the Environment
Schools can take advantage of tax credits and grants offered in the climate change spending package Congress passed this year.
3 min read
Newly installed solar panels stretch out along the north side of Madison-Grant High School near Fairmount, Ind., on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017.
Newly installed solar panels stretch out along the north side of Madison-Grant High School near Fairmount, Ind., on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017.
Jeff Morehead/The Chronicle-Tribune via AP
School & District Management How This Principal Uses TikTok and YouTube to Build School Culture
A Louisiana principal has found that short videos reinforce what’s happening in the classrooms.
8 min read
Tight crop of hands typing on a laptop overlaid with a window that includes a video play button and red progress bar.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Opinion To Have a Bigger Impact, Here's What You Should Stop Doing in Your Classroom or School
Teachers and leaders often want to lighten their load, but don't know where to start.
6 min read
shutterstock 1051475696
School & District Management Opinion The Pandemic May Have Eased, But There's No Going Back for Districts
Now's the time to rethink how to address—and solve—problems in education, explain several education leaders.
20 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."