Lots of action but no resolution for Florida's Opportunity Scholarships. The state's Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday. John Tierney flexes his new muscles on the New York Times op-ed page (proving Gadfly's early praise correct, see here) with a column about the impending ruling's impact on the kids the program was designed to help (see here for more on the debate). Instead of rehashing the constitutional argument, Tierney asks a question often overlooked when vouchers are on the line: is the program actually achieving what it was designed to do? "Test scores have gone up more rapidly at schools facing the threat of vouchers than at other schools," he writes, "and the latest study, by Martin West and Paul Peterson of Harvard, shows that Florida's program is much more effective than . . . No Child Left Behind." The Sarasota Herald-Tribune points out that if, in fact, the forthcoming high court ruling clobbers Opportunity Scholarships, other programs in the state, including the brand new pre-K program (click here for more on Florida's plan) could be at risk as well. If you're still searching for balanced news stories that parse the motives behind this debate, check out the St. Petersburg Times. For now, the entire state remains perched on the edges of its seats.
"A chance to escape," by John Tierney, New York Times, June 7, 2005 (subscription required)
"Pre-K plan may have a big flaw," by Joe Follick, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, June 5, 2005
"Voucher battle heads to court," by Ron Matus, St. Petersburg Times, June 6, 2005