Florida’s lesson: School choice builds success

Vicki E. Murray,Matthew Ladner

Assemblyman Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch, and retired administrator Larry Aceves want to be California’s superintendent of public instruction. Voters should ask the candidates why Florida, though demographically similar to California, continues to trounce the Golden State in student achievement.
Two years ago, significant numbers of Florida’s low-income and minority fourth-graders outscored all California fourth-graders in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card. The latest results confirm that Florida’s success is no fluke.
Low-income and minority students continue to propel Florida’s gains while California student performance lags near the bottom. The latest fourth-grade NAEP reading results reveal how California’s failure to reform its public schools is putting students at an alarming disadvantage.