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ERIC Number: ED512424
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct-17
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Closing the Racial Achievement Gap: Learning from Florida's Reforms. Backgrounder. No. 2468
Ladner, Matthew; Burke, Lindsey M.
Heritage Foundation
An education gap between white students and their black and Hispanic peers is something to which most Americans have become accustomed. But this racial division of education--and hence of prospects for the future--is nothing less than tragic. The good news is that the racial divide in learning is a problem that can be fixed. Of course, it can only be fixed if education reform is approached in a commonsense and innovative way. Continuing to repeat the largely failed national policies and ever-increasing spending of the past decades is surely not common sense. One state, Florida, has demonstrated that meaningful academic improvement--for students of all races and economic backgrounds--is possible. In 1999, Florida enacted far-reaching K-12 education reform that includes public and private school choice, charter schools, virtual education, performance-based pay for teachers, grading of schools and districts, annual tests, curbing social promotion, and alternative teacher certification. As a result of parental choice, higher standards, accountability, and flexibility, Florida's Hispanic students are now outperforming or tied with the overall average for all students in 31 states. It is vital that national and state policymakers take the lessons of Florida's success to heart. The future of millions of American children depends on it. (Contains 28 footnotes.)
Heritage Foundation. 214 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002-4999. Tel: 202-546-4400; Fax: 202-546-8328; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 4; Grade 8
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Heritage Foundation
Identifiers - Location: Florida
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001