Step Up for Students is getting faster at rapid response.
Late last week, Dr. Rosa Castro Feinberg’s expose regarding voucher schools decades old secret that they are not required to abide by ESOL rules or to provide the benefits and services that flow from those rules. Step Up for Students’ (SUFS) board member Julio Fuentes responded to Castro’s piece, Castro Feinberg countered and a few hours ago, Fuentes, um, re-countered.
Fuentes predictably surrounded his scolding of Castro Feinberg with a voucher success story. It’s doubtful that Fuentes sought out one from public schools. In today’s piece, he accuses Castro Feinberg of not telling the whole story on David Figlio’s 2103 report on Florida’s voucher program. It turns out that it is Fuentes the one cherry-picking quotes. Writes Fuentes:
Dr. Feinberg also left out the report’s ultimate conclusion. In summing up Dr. Figlio’s findings, it noted his research that showed the public schools most affected by the loss of students to tax credit scholarships experienced academic gains themselves. Dr. Figlio wrote:
“There exists compelling causal evidence indicated that the FTC Scholarship Program has led to modest and statistically significant improvements in public school performance across the state. Therefore, a cautious read of the weight of the available evidence suggests that the FTC Scholarship Program has boosted student performance in public schools statewide, that the program draws disproportionately low income, poorly-performing students from the public schools into the private schools, and that the students who moved perform as well or better once they move to the private schools.”
Well, now. Since we’re on the topic of what folks are leaving out, let’s show a couple key parts that Fuentes – or whichever SUFS executive wrote the opinion piece for him – leaves out.
In the beginning, Figlio offered caution:
“Unlike those produced in prior years, this report does not make direct comparisons between test scores of program participants and non-participating students in Florida public schools because public school students no longer take a test that can be credibly compared with the national norm-referenced test scores collected for program participants“
Fuentes-SUFS clearly doesn’t want Floridians to know that Figlio pointed out in his introduction that this current study “does not make a direct comparison” they would have you believe. Moreover, on page 3 Figlio re-emphasized the point:
….it is the professional judgment of the author that without a direct concordance between FCAT 2.0 and a national norm-referenced test it is untenable to make direct public versus private school comparisons as was done in prior years “
Castro Feinberg was emphasizing the caution that Figlio clearly was conveying in his study while Fuentes-SUFS is attempting to hide it. Fuentes-SUFS doesn’t want Floridians and state senators they are trying to influence the narrowness of Figlio’s “cautious read.” Not only do they not want to take the same tests as do public schools, they don’t want anyone to know that there isn’t any real data to back up their claim.