Researcher to study Pinellas County's fundamental schools
Here's something interesting about Pinellas County Schools from the redefinEd blog:
Ron Matus, a former education reporter for the Tampa Bay Times, writes that researcher Matthew Chingos of the Brookings Institution will spend the next year studying fundamental schools in Pinellas County.
Chingos is specifically looking at the effect of fundamental schools on reading and math scores. Matus said in his blog post that the study is worth watching because it involves a school choice option offered by a school district, rather than a private or charter school.
It should be interesting to see what Chingos finds. Fundamental schools are incredibly popular with parents and it's tough to get into them. The schools emphasize parental involvement and kick out those students who don't meet the behavioral demands. (Or whose parents don't live up to their commitment on being involved.) There's also been some debate about whether fundamentals create a two-tiered system and what effect it has on other schools when many high-performing students attend fundamentals.
Chingos, for those who recognize the name, has been involved in a number of education reports and studies. He has studied the effect of Florida's class size law, the quality of teachers coming out of Florida universities and, most recently, a controversial study about the effect of vouchers on college enrollment among black and Hispanic students.