School & District Management

State Journal

March 21, 2001 1 min read

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


School & District Management Webinar What's Ahead for Hybrid Learning: Putting Best Practices in Motion
It’s safe to say hybrid learning—a mix of in-person and remote instruction that evolved quickly during the pandemic—is probably here to stay in K-12 education to some extent. That is the case even though increasing
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.
Mathematics Webinar
Building Equitable Systems: Moving Math From Gatekeeper to Opportunity Gateway
The importance of disrupting traditional American math practices and adopting high-quality math curriculum continues to be essential for changing the trajectory of historically under-resourced schools. Building systems around high-quality math curriculum also is necessary to
Content provided by Partnership for L.A. Schools
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.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Measuring & Supporting Student Well-Being: A Researcher and District Leader Roundtable
Students’ social-emotional well-being matters. The positive and negative emotions students feel are essential characteristics of their psychology, indicators of their well-being, and mediators of their success in school and life. Supportive relationships with peers, school
Content provided by Panorama Education

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 Opinion Pandemic Recovery Will Be Complex. We’ll Need the Best School Leaders
To face the education challenges of today and tomorrow, we must invest in the principal pipeline, writes Michael J. Petrilli.
Michael J. Petrilli
4 min read
Leader pointing hand forward, directing boat forward through corona virus crisis
iStock / Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Opinion The Year of Scourges: How I Survived Illness and Racism to Find My 'Tribe'
A Black school leader reflects on the hardest year of her professional life.
Reba Y. Hodge
4 min read
new growth on a bare tree
Vanessa Solis/Education Week & Getty Images
School & District Management From Our Research Center How the Pandemic Is Shaping K-12 Education (in Charts)
Surveys by the EdWeek Research Center show how schools have changed during the pandemic and what adjustments are likely to stick.
Eric DiVito gives breathing instructions as he teaches a remote music class at the Osborn School on Oct. 6, 2020, in Rye, N.Y.
Eric DiVito gives breathing instructions as he teaches a remote music class at the Osborn School in Rye, N.Y., last fall.
Mary Altaffer/AP
School & District Management Opinion Ed. Leaders: Discuss Race, Call Out White Supremacy
Downplaying the realities of racism leads to misunderstanding school problems and developing inadequate solutions.
John B. Diamond & Jennifer Cheatham
5 min read
Hand writing the word racism on blackboard. Stop hate. Against prejudice and violence. Lecture about discrimination in school.
Tero Vesalainen/iStock/Getty