Education Reform in Florida

Edited by Kathryn M. Borman and Sherman Dorn

In Education Reform in Florida, sociologists and historians evaluate Governor Jeb Bush’s nation-leading school reform policies since 1999. They examine the startlingly broad range of education policy changes enacted in Florida during Bush’s first term, including moves toward privatization with a voucher system, more government control of public education institutions with centralized accountability mechanisms, and a “superboard” for all public education. The contributors arrive at a mixed conclusion regarding Bush’s first-term education policies: while he deserves credit for holding students to higher standards, his policies have, unfortunately, pushed for equality in a very narrow way. The contributors remain skeptical about seeing significant and sweeping improvement in how well Florida schools work for all students.

“While the book covers the state of Florida, the issues in Bush’s first term are ones that face all states and that are playing out in essential ways in many administrations. The contributors take a broad, historical look at these issues, and then narrow in on the specifics of current policies, practices, and levels of achievement. They find that Florida has a long way to go to create diversity and equity in education.” — Jean Anyon, author of Radical Possibilities: Public Policy, Urban Education, and a New Social Movement


  • Introduction: Issues in Florida Education Reform
  • The Legacy of Desegregation in Florida
  • Education Finance Reform in Florida
  • Accountability as a Means of Improvement: A Continuity of Themes
  • Diversity, Desegregation, and Accountability in Florida Districts
  • Equity, Disorder, and Discipline in Florida Schools
  • Competing Agendas for University Governance: Placing the Conflict between Jeb Bush and Bob Graham in Context
  • One Florida, the Politics of Educational Opportunity, and the Blinkered Language of Preference
  • Florida’s A+ Plan: Education Reform Policies and Student Outcomes

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Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2007.
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-7914-6984-2
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-7914-6983-5

Education Reform in Florida cover

Education Reform in Florida cover