Make us your home page


Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Survey: Florida voucher parents love their schools



Maybe it's no surprise, but Florida voucher parents really, really like their private schools, according to a survey posted this morning by the Florida Department of Education.

More than 75 percent of the parents whose children receive tax-credit vouchers and who responded to the survey rated their schools "excellent," while another 20 percent rated them good, according to the survey, which was conducted by Northwestern University researcher David Figlio.

Those satisfaction rates are much higher than two other groups of parents Figlio surveyed - those who applied for a voucher and were eligible but did not use it, and those who applied for a voucher but did not meet eligibility requirements. Sixty four percent and 73 percent of those groups, respectively, rated their schools good or excellent. The numbers dropped to 56 and 63 percent, respectively, for black parents in those groups.

"Minorities and less-educated households appear to be relatively unhappy with their children's schools when the children are not participating in the (voucher) program," Figlio wrote.

The survey can be found in the third and latest report on tax-credit vouchers that the state contracted with Figlio to conduct. In his second report, released last summer, Figlio found students using tax-credit vouchers are doing no better or worse academically than similar students in public schools. For the third report, Figlio looked at another year's worth of standardized test scores and came to the same conclusion.

UPDATE AT 11:59 A.M. Step Up for Students likes what they see in the report. Its press release includes a statement from Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith: “As a longstanding and ardent supporter of school choice options for parents, I’m pleased to see that students who are taking advantage of the FTC Scholarship Program are finding educational settings that best meet their individual needs. FTC scholarships continue to be a fantastic resource for low-income families, and the high marks of
satisfaction from parents, combined with the improved performance of so many students, really emphasizes the positive value of this program.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 10:07am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours