This is the third blog in our series comparing performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for school choice rich Florida and other states including school choice poor Kentucky.
We are looking at the NAEP results for Grade 4 reading from the early days of the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990 and the most recent, 2017 results. Today we concentrate on scores for black students in each state.
Figure 1 shows how the NAEP looked for fourth grade blacks in each state compared to Florida back in 1992. Note that Kentucky’s whites statistically significantly outscored Florida’s blacks in 1992 and so did 19 other states. In fact, NO state did statistically significantly worse than Florida in 1992 when we look at black student scores.
Now flash forward to the picture in 2017, shown in Figure 2.
Florida has done some serious moving up. Now, no state outscores Florida when black students are considered, and instead of being behind, Florida has caught up to Kentucky, too. While Florida didn’t outscore any state in 1992 for NAEP Grade 4 reading for blacks, in 2017 that state outscored 18 others. That’s some good progress.
While a lot of factors could have played into the Florida Flip for black students, you have to consider that Florida’s selection of many school choice options certainly didn’t impede this development.
Meanwhile, with school choice essentially absent in Kentucky for the entire period from 1992 to 2017, you have to seriously question if the Bluegrass State’s decisions to date about choice have been a disservice to our kids.
Stay tuned, because there is still more to come.
Tech Note: Figure 1 was assembled with the NAEP Data Explorer web tool.