DC and New York are the worst.
Florida hit the top spot in Heritage Foundation’s Education Freedom Report Card.
“If sunlight is the best disinfectant, it’s no wonder why the Sunshine State is one of the freest states for teachers and children to pursue an education that is largely devoid of red tape,” stated Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts. “Florida has led the way in expanding education choice, cutting red tape, and holding schools accountable to parents with academic transparency.”
Heritage Foundation used four categories with many factors to rank the states:
- Education Choice
- Regulatory Freedom
- Return on Investment (ROI) for Education Spending
Florida landed in the top 10 in each category.
Heritage Foundation found:
Florida ranks first among states for academic transparency. Florida lawmakers set a high standard for academic transparency and rejecting critical race theory’s pernicious ideas in 2022. State officials approved a proposal that prohibits teachers and administrators from compelling students to affirm the prejudiced ideas of critical race theory. Lawmakers also approved a proposal that requires academic transparency so that parents and taxpayers can review classroom assignments before educators use such materials as part of K–12 instruction.
Lindsey Burke, director of Heritage’s Center for Education Policy, said: “Florida lawmakers set a high standard for academic transparency and rejecting critical race theory’s pernicious ideas. An impressive 42% of Florida teachers are alternatively certified, making their way to K–12 classrooms through means other than a traditional, university-based college education. If you’re looking for a state that supports families when it comes to directing the education of their children while keeping red tape and spending low, look no further than Florida.”
Missouri, which enjoys mostly decent ranking in the top ten in three categories, is dead last in transparency: “Missouri lawmakers have not adopted proposals to increase academic transparency or that reject the prejudice caused by the application of critical race theory in schools.”
Oklahoma, my state, is similar. It is ranked in the top 10 in three categories except for transparency because of a messed-up proposal: “In 2021, Oklahoma lawmakers adopted a proposal that rejects the application of critical race theory in K–12 classrooms, but this proposal also bans the discussion of certain legitimate ideas and materials in schools. Such provisions can create confusion among educators and students, and Oklahoma lawmakers should replace them with provisions that declare that no teacher or student shall be compelled to affirm any idea that violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
Only Mississippi beats Florida in the regulatory freedom rank. But hey, #2 isn’t that bad:
The Sunshine State ranks second in regulatory freedom, making it one of the freest states for teachers and students to pursue education largely devoid of red tape. An impressive 42 percent of Florida teachers are alternatively certified, making their way to K–12 classrooms through a means other than a traditional university-based college of education. The state has full reciprocity of teacher licensure, allowing anyone with a valid teaching license from another state to teach in Florida, or anyone who holds a certificate issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Florida does not use Common Core–aligned tests. Despite its #2 rank for regulatory freedom, the Sunshine State has room for improvement: 42 percent of its school districts with more than 15,000 students employ a “chief diversity officer.”
Florida can maintain its #1 ranking by limiting growth in non-teaching staff, particularly chief diversity officers, and continuing to embrace alternative routes for teachers to K–12 classrooms or by ending certification requirements altogether.
New York, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia landed in the last three spots.DONATE
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