Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Florida's school choice policies and democracy: Origins and destinations
by Miller, Adam, Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, 2015, 252; 10154940
Abstract (Summary)

School choice is a fast growing alternative to traditional public school education across the nation. According to the Florida Department of Education, school choice policies and laws are rapidly moving Florida away from more traditional forms of schooling toward an increasingly evolving school choice state landscape. The purpose of this study was to examine school choice in Florida by investigating the school choice policies enacted by the Florida legislature leading to the school choice environment in Florida today. Specifically, this investigation was limited to legislation in Florida between 1997 and 2014 and further limited to charter schools, home schooling, virtual education, and two choice options specific to Florida in which public dollars follow students to private schools, the Tax Credit and McKay Scholarship programs. These particular school choice options were chosen as the focus of this study because they change the where of education outside of traditional public schools. Other choice options such as magnet schools, inter-district choice, and intra-district choice simply move students among traditional public schools but keep them enrolled in traditional public schools. Ultimately the study hoped to provide a possible road map for the future of school choice policies in Florida. This study utilized a qualitative methodology utilizing document reviews and interviews. This study found that school choice policies in Florida have continued to expand and evolve over the years to increase the liberty available to families to choose the education of their children.

This study also found that the Florida legislature has laid the groundwork for Florida school districts, through a focus on equality, to take advantage of a portfolio management model to increase student achievement. Although a focus on equality led to the enactment of various school choice options, some of these options have moved away from their original intent to financially benefit specific organizations and groups. Finally, as reported by Holme, Frankenberg, Diem, and Welton (2013), Florida’s charter school, virtual education, and home education policies have been enacted as race-neutral policies that have no regard for diversity, which could lead to resegregation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mountford, Meredith L.
School: Florida Atlantic University
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 78/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Education Policy, Political science, Ethnic studies
Keywords: Charter schools, Florida, Home education, School choice, Virtual education, Vouchers
Publication Number: 10154940
ISBN: 978-1-369-10025-9
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