New Report: Families See Improved School Choice in 2017 AZ, FL and IN remain top performers; NV slips in rankings
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nicole Murphy, [email protected], 858.205.5432
Arlington, VA —The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) today released the 22nd annual Report Card on American Education in support of National School Choice Week. The report highlights the success and failures of the American education system. The Education and Workforce Development Taskforce graded and ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia to highlight the quality of education across America. Thousands of families have seen improved educational choices in 2017, but the states with the highest percentage of students enrolled in school choice programs – the best-ranked states – are still only granting full choice to about 5 percent of their student populations.
Inez Feltscher Stepman, author of the report and Director of Education and Workforce Development Task Force, believes it is long past time to give every family the educational freedom they deserve to raise productive, engaged and successful students. “Educational freedom doesn’t just produce students who score higher on tests (although 19 gold-standard studies say they do); it also reduces criminality, and increases social tolerance and civic engagement. Allowing every student to find the right educational fit should be at the top of every citizen’s priority list,” says Stepman.
The report ranks states across six categories: academic standards, charter schools, homeschool regulation burden, private school choice, teacher quality and digital learning. The 2017 data shows the top three school choice programs remain the same as 2016– Arizona ranked one, Florida two and Indiana three.
North Carolina and Illinois moved up substantially in the rankings since last year’s report. Both states passed school choice programs. However, other states did not make such strides. The Nevada legislature still refuses to fund a groundbreaking universal education savings account (ESA) program, ignoring the wishes of over 8,000 families who have already signed up for it, causing the state to slip in the rankings. Other states like Texas and Nebraska have made no changes in the past year.
“My hope is that parents, students, educators, voters and policymakers can use the information in this report to better understand the education system in their states, and to learn from states that have become educational leaders,” said Stepman.
To learn more about the methodology of the state rankings, and to see individual state data, read the full report here.
The American Legislative Exchange Council is the largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators in the United States. The Council is governed by state legislators who comprise the Board of Directors and is advised by the Private Enterprise Advisory Council, a group of private, foundation and think tank members. For more information about the American Legislative Exchange Council, please visit: www.alec.org.