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Vouchers: Making Public Schools Shape Up?

A new study focusing on Florida schools claims that the mere threat of vouchers is making public schools better because of the threat that they face as result of school choice. Luis A. Huerta, assistant professor of education, disagrees with this conclusion. "We still don't know what leads to these increases in test scores," he said.

The study, which analyzed the state's test scores and categorized schools by their status, found that the schools that showed the most improved test scores were those in danger of getting vouchers through the state's original voucher program. Nevertheless, Huerta questioned the outcome of this study as the sole explanation for schools' improvement. "There are lots of variables that have profound effects on schools. Vouchers could be one of them. But I don't think you can say vouchers is the cause."

The article, entitled "Two Researchers Link Improved Public Schools to the Specter of Private Competition" appeared in the August 20 edition of the St.Petersberg Times.

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