When groups rank states based on a range of education reforms — school choice, charter schools, teacher quality, transparency, digital learning — it’s not surprising Florida lands near the top.
But Indiana continues to eke its way into the no. 1 spot in the Center for Education Reform’s “Parent Power Index,” despite an ongoing political struggle over education policy in that state.
The latest version of the index, released today, gives Florida high marks for supporting digital learning, giving parents access to school report cards and information about their options, having one of the stronger charter school laws in the country, and embracing private school choice. The main knocks against it include the lack of a “parent trigger” law and the inability to create independent charter school authorizers.
It’s worth keeping in mind that giving students more options doesn’t lead to improved student performance by itself. Democrats for Education Reform drove that point home in an analysis last year. It lined up advocates’ rankings of state charter school laws with charter school performance in each state, and found there wasn’t much correlation. “School choice alone does not guarantee success,” policy analyst Marianne Lombardo wrote at the time, “but can create the potential for success.”