Fact-Checking Rick Scott’s Sketchy Education Claims

It didn’t take long for the media call Rick Scott on one of his education claims from his State of the State address yesterday. In his attempt to take credit for “four schools in the nation’s top ten” PolitiFact responds:

We sent Scott’s claim to several education experts to ask their opinion on the Newsweek and U.S. News rankings. None of them embraced these rankings, and they offered several criticisms and caveats.

Matthew Di Carlo, an education policy at the Albert Shanker Institute, cautioned that Newsweek’s data from schools is self-reported and only takes into account a small portion of the nation’s high schools. The indicators measured such as graduation and college acceptance rates are predominantly a function of student background.

Jeffrey Henig, a Columbia education professor, said that the Newsweek rankings don’t control for certain factors such as socioeconomic status and whether the schools have competitive entry requirements — as does the school from Miami on the list.

“All ‘best school’ lists have flaws and most have serious ones,” Henig said. “Ranking systems that look at test scores or graduation rates or similar outcome measures, without considering the characteristics of the student populations they serve, tell us little about whether listed schools are good ones, and tell us absolutely nothing about the quality of the state systems in which they are located.”

Well, that was easy.

PolitiFact charitably gave Scott a “Half True.” It will be interesting to see if he trots that one out again.



About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
This entry was posted in EDUCATION, Florida, FLORIDA POLITICS, Rick Scott and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fact-Checking Rick Scott’s Sketchy Education Claims

  1. Tom Lauder says:

    Mr Sikes,
    Would love to talk to you about charter schools. Please use email provided

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