Education Reform in Florida

Diversity and Equity in Public Policy

Edited by Kathryn M. Borman & Sherman Dorn

Subjects: Education Policy And Leadership
Paperback : 9780791469842, 302 pages, March 2007
Hardcover : 9780791469835, 302 pages, March 2007

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Table of contents

1. Introduction: Issues in Florida Education Reform
Kathryn M. Borman and Sherman Dorn

2. The Legacy of Desegregation in Florida
Deirdre Cobb-Roberts and Barbara Shircliffe

3. Education Finance Reform in Florida
Sherman Dorn and Deanna L. Michael

4. Accountability as a Means of Improvement: A Continuity of Themes
Deanna L. Michael and Sherman Dorn

5. Diversity, Desegregation, and Accountability in Florida Districts
Tamela McNulty Eitle

6. Equity, Disorder, and Discipline in Florida Schools
David Eitle and Tamela McNulty Eitle

7. Competing Agendas for University Governance: Placing the Conflict between Jeb Bush and Bob Graham in Context
Larry Johnson and Kathryn M. Borman

8. One Florida, the Politics of Educational Opportunity, and the Blinkered Language of Preference
Larry Johnson and Deirdre Cobb-Roberts

9. Florida’s A+ Plan: Education Reform Policies and Student Outcomes
Reginald S. Lee, Kathryn M. Borman, and William Tyson

About the Contributors

Describes and analyzes nation-leading school reforms in Florida.


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.

At the University of South Florida, Kathryn M. Borman is Professor of Anthropology and Sherman Dorn is Associate Professor of Education. Borman has collaborated on and coedited many books, including Meaningful Urban Education Reform: Confronting the Learning Crisis in Mathematics and Science, also published by SUNY Press. Dorn is the author of Creating the Dropout: An Institutional and Social History of School Failure.


"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