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Pelican Institute Study Shows Louisiana Students Can Benefit from More School Choice

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Study Shows Louisiana Students Can Benefit from More School Choice
Statewide scholarships are contributing to rising test scores in Florida

BATON ROUGE—As state lawmakers arrive in Baton Rouge next week, one of the first issues they’ll discuss is Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education reform plan to expand school vouchers statewide. In considering such an expansion, two pro-reform organizations are suggesting lawmakers look to their neighbor for advice.

“Lessons for Louisiana from Florida’s K-12 Education Revolution,” co-released by the Louisiana-based Pelican Institute for Public Policy and Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice headquartered in Indiana, found that Florida, once lagging in education performance compared to Louisiana, is now leading the Pelican State academically. The report credits Florida’s myriad reforms, including its statewide school voucher programs, for its gains, which are particularly prominent among the state’s Black and low-income students.

“Florida and, in fact, 16 other states have proved that broadly-available school choice helps public schools improve and assists families in real need,” Robert Enlow, president and CEO of the Friedman Foundation, said. “Florida’s statewide scholarship programs are a leading reason why its low-income students perform better on reading tests than Louisiana’s average for all students.”

The “Lessons for Louisiana” report uses data primarily from the National Assessment of Educational Progress’s (NAEP) fourth-grade reading test, which the organizations claim is a critical measurement of student performance.

“If Louisiana students cannot read at a young age, experts agree those children have extreme difficulty learning in later school years and over the course of their lives,” Kevin Kane, president of the Pelican Institute, said. “Louisiana should learn from Florida’s efforts to improve student reading levels by increasing the availability of private school scholarships to students in underperforming public schools.”

One Florida scholarship program cited in the report is identical to Gov. Jindal’s proposal: a statewide voucher program for children in underperforming public schools. According to “Lessons for Louisiana,” analyses of Florida’s program, and other choice programs, concluded that vouchers helped the students who used them and the public schools affected by vouchers.

The Friedman and Pelican report also notes that to ensure accountability, the most successful school choice programs permit private schools to maintain their autonomy while providing a reasonable level of transparency and reporting to government and parents.

“Private schools have been educating Louisiana students successfully for centuries and we need to preserve their autonomy,” Kane added. “The strongest accountability tool is giving parents the opportunity to leave a school and find another option that works best for their child.”
“Lessons for Louisiana from Florida’s K-12 Education Revolution” is available at



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  • thepeoplellc

    Given that “The ‘Lessons for Louisiana’ report uses data primarily from the National Assessment of Educational Progress’s (NAEP), it’s conclusions must be questioned on the following basis:

    “The NAEP test is commonly described as a national, academic
    achievement test. It is actually far more, or far different, than that. To
    understand the NAEP test, that is, to understand its purpose and design, we must
    also recognize the role it plays in overall education policy at the national

    Nationalizing education requires three fundamental components. The
    first of these is the creation of a national curriculum. This feat was
    accomplished, in part, by the passage of the Goals 2000: Educate America Act in
    1994, and the School-To-Work: Opportunities Act, also passed in 1994.

    The second component is federal legislation allowing the federal
    government to grant or withhold federal education dollars to states or schools
    dependent upon their compliance or noncompliance with the new federal mandates
    in order to force states and schools to accept the national system. This feature
    was adopted as part of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act also
    passed in 1994.

    The third essential component of nationalizing education is the
    administration of a national test. The NAEP test fulfills this objective. That
    is, the NAEP test has become one of several ways by which the federal government
    monitors how well the states are doing in carrying out the federal objectives.
    In addition, and since education always teaches to the tests which are given,
    the NAEP test has become the primary vehicle by which the federal government is
    establishing a de facto national curriculum.

    Not surprisingly, this de facto curriculum determined by the NAEP
    test is the same curriculum contained in the Goals 2000 and School-To-Work laws.
    This national curriculum consists of a cradle-to-grave education program which
    focuses upon:

    1. Establishment of minimum academic and performance
    standards, 2. Aggressive promotion of diversity and
    multiculturalism, 3. Advocacy of the basic precepts of earth-worship
    style environmentalism, 4. The vocationalizing of all education,
    and 5. Inculcation of other attitudes, beliefs and values which are
    in the process of being determined and specified and which can
    be changed at any time.

    How does the NAEP test both establish and measure the above
    curriculum? Following are some examples from the language arts portion of the
    1996 NAEP test which illustrate how it does so. (This particular NAEP test was
    given to a student’s mother accidentally. When she saw what the test was
    actually measuring, she was so outraged that she refused to return the test.)
    This NAEP test contains:

    * Four questions which constitute an exercise in diversity
    training where white settlers are described as being in pursuit of
    the “yellow metal that they worship and that makes them crazy,” and who “show
    little respect for other people’s needs,” and who created a “barren
    land … [where] you shall starve.”

    * Three questions which measure the student’s adoption of
    the values of radical environmentalism as defined in the unratified
    UN treaty known as Agenda 21. This set of questions culminate in a written composition question on environmentalism which instructs student to
    use “examples you have seen or studied,” thereby measuring how well
    the states and schools are indoctrinating our children with environmentalist precepts.

    * A written composition question which probes the
    political views of our students by instructing them to write a
    letter to their US senator in which they are required to identify which
    government programs they want their senator to support

    * Four questions asking students to identify which
    birth-to-first-grade programs they have participated in, thereby
    providing information on the “success” of the curriculum in these programs as
    well as information on the degree of participation in these programs
    and on the increase in participation from year to year.

    * Six questions measuring Life Work Planning, a central
    feature of School-to-Work, including a composition question
    requiring students to identify which job they would like to apply for and also
    requiring students to do a skills inventory and to write a resume
    which could be used with an application for the job they have selected.

    * Five questions on “the vocabulary of business,” one
    question dealing with service learning, and one question requiring
    students to choose between two competing government projects and to write a
    letter defending the government project they have chosen.

    As is obvious from the above examples, under the guise of testing
    language arts, the NAEP test is primarily measuring the goals, attitudes,
    beliefs and values of our students. This particular NAEP test contains 204
    questions. Only 38 of these questions (19%) involve any kind of measurement of
    academic ability or achievement. The other 81% measure only the demographics,
    attitudes, values, beliefs and behavior of the student.

    The NAEP test is totally consistent with the views of its creator,
    Ralph Tyler, who described his educational philosophy as follows: “The real
    purpose of education is not to have the instructor perform certain activities
    but to bring about significant changes in the students’ patterns of

    In addition, the value system measured by the NAEP is exactly the
    same as the value system contained in the Goals 2000/School-to-Work laws. The
    test has obviously been designed to measure how much “success” the various
    states and schools are having in indoctrinating their students with the
    federally-dictated belief-system. The NAEP also further solidifies and promotes
    that politically-correct, value-laden curriculum.

    Because of the true nature of the NAEP test, we should not be
    surprised that neither teachers nor parents are allowed to see the test. This
    way the federal government can include any questions and content that it wishes
    to, while, at the same time, it cannot be held accountable by its citizens. The
    national system of education is designed to hold the citizens accountable to
    government, not to hold government accountable to its citizens

    It should also be mentioned that in the UN World Declaration On
    Education For All, 1990, the United States agreed to adopt a national system of
    education which is aligned with a world education system. The world education
    curriculum contained in this international agreement includes all the items
    (1-6) outlined above. In this Declaration, the US also agreed to “establish
    procedures for monitoring [its] progress” in meeting the goals of the
    Declaration. The NAEP test meets this stipulation of the agreement.

  • libertybelle2012

    If you are NOT on the phone to your state Rep and Senator right now…… you are NOT paying attention!!!!  All of this “education crisis” in our country is being driven by the results on these NON-academic tests.  The results of these ‘tests” can be manipulated until the socialist agenda of indoctrinating our children has been achieved. 

     FYI….. here is the section of the NCLB law that describes what will happen to any unauthorized person (ie parent, teachers, legislator, etc) who dares to see the full test and questions ………

    “The penalty for unlawful
    disclosure is a fine of not more than $250,000 (under 18 USC 3571) or imprisonment for not more than five years (under 18USC3559), or both” The sample test questions are bad enough….wonder what else is on these tests??We obviously have a President who is pushing a socialist agenda in this country.   He and Arne Duncan of the Fed Dept of Education are using the UN guidelines to teach our children to be good little commuitarian workers.  WAKE UP before it is too late.  Further food for thought: “Flunking Arne Duncan”: your Reps we do not want Obama’s “change” based on manipulated testing that will lead our children down the road to being “common” and “standard” minions of the state.

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  • Republican governors are unabashedly behind some of the most aggressive changes in education policy today, from Indiana to Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott successfully pushed law changes to establish merit pay and eliminate tenure protections for new teachers, to Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker seeks statewide screening of incoming kindergartners and requirements that elementary school teachers take a more rigorous licensing exam.

  • thepeoplellc

    Well, it is hardly surprising that other Republican governors are following this same blueprint:  they each get their marching orders from the National Governors Association.  It is precisely in this way that our educational system is being nationalized; and, this is a prime example of the dangers of any “model legislation”.

    Simply because this legislation is being instituted by way of the states, does not change what it is that we are witnessing:  the nationalization of our educational system.  Such a notion is inherently UN-American.

  • Did the Study include children with exceptionalities? When it comes to Charter schools, parents that have children with special needs with significant disabilities are usually turned away, therefore there is no “real” parent choice options.

  • The Pelican Institute has also released a study that shows Louisiana students stand to benefit from school vouchers and other choice initiatives. We need to fully assess the number of seats that are available, and which grades these students will be going into,” she said. We certainly do not want to be in a position where we accept children, but are unable to serve them. After all, they are already coming in from a bad situation.

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