PROVIDENCE – A conservative think tank formed from the ashes of the Ocean State Policy Research Institute released a report on Monday, urging Florida-like reforms to the education system in Rhode Island.
The report, “Closing The Gap,” was released by The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity with Mike Stenhouse as the CEO. Stenhouse was the executive director of OSPRI.
Florida lawmakers began to reform the state’s education system in 1999, which has resulted in groups of “traditionally underperforming students from Florida … to actually match the statewide average for all Rhode Island students on 4th grade reading” by 2009 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress results.
The report went on to detail how the reforms have particularly benefited disadvantaged students in Florida.
It concluded that “rigorous standards for all students” was the driving force behind Florida’s success. Race of the student “is not an excuse for low education performance;” and “income levels are not a major deterrent to educational improvement,” among others.