Policy Documents

Real Reforms, Real Results: Florida’s Education Reform Lessons for Georgia

Matthew Ladner –
January 24, 2011

Florida’s reading achievement surged between 1998 and 2009 while Georgia demonstrated only modest gains and fell behind Florida, writes Matthew Ladner in this Center for an Educated Georgia report. Florida made among the best strides in the nation in closing its achievement gap between white and minority students and low-income and higher-income students. The reforms that allowed Florida to make these remarkable gains included: Embracing public- and private-sector education options; curtailing social promotion of functionally illiterate third-grade students; creating genuine alternative teacher certification paths; and grading all public schools on a clear A to F scale. Meanwhile, Georgia still fails to teach basic literacy to 50 percent of low-income children.