Critique of "An Evaluation of the Florida A-Plus Accountability Program"


  • Gregory Camilli Rutgers University
  • Katrina Bulkley Rutgers University



Academic Achievement, Accountability, Achievement Gains, Educational Vouchers, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Regression (Statistics), Sampling, School Choice, Scores, Test Results


In 1999, Florida adopted the "A-Plus" accountability system, which included a provision that allowed students in certain low-performing schools to receive school vouchers. In a recently released report, An Evaluation of the Florida A-Plus Accountability and School Choice Program (Greene, 2001a), the author argued that early evidence from this program strongly implies that the program has led to significant improvement on test scores in schools threatened with vouchers. However, a careful analysis of Greene's findings and the Florida data suggests that these strong effects may be largely due to sample selection, regression to the mean, and problems related to the aggregation of test score results.


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Author Biographies

Gregory Camilli, Rutgers University

Gregory Camilli is Professor of Educational Psychology, at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education and a Senior Researcher in the Center for Educational Policy Analysis. His areas of research interest include psychometric issues in educational policy, meta-analysis, and differential item functioning. Examples of recent publications include "Values and state ratings: An examination of the state-by-state education indicators in quality counts" (Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 2000), "Application of a method of estimating DIF for polytomous test items" (Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 1999), Standard error in educational programs: A policy analysis perspective" (Educational Policy Analysis Archives, 1996), and Methods for Identifying Biased Items (Sage, 1994). Camilli has been or is currently a member of the editorial Boards of Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, Educational Policy Analysis Archives, and Education Review. He is a regular reviewer for Applied Measurement in Education, Journal of Educational Measurement, Psychometrika, and Psychological Methods, among others. As a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the New Jersey Basic Skills Assessment Council, he provides expertise on testing and measurement issues to the New Jersey state assessment program.

Katrina Bulkley, Rutgers University

Katrina Bulkley is an Assistant Professor of Educational Policy at the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education. Much of her work has focused on issues involving school choice and charter schools. Recent articles include, "Charter School Authorizers: A New Governance Mechanism?" in Educational Policy (November 1999), and "'New Improved' Mayors Take Over City Schools" (with Michael Kirst) in Phi Delta Kappan (March 2000). She is currently working with the Consortium for Policy Research in Education on a literature review of research on charter schools and a study of for-profit management companies and charter schools, and with the Center for Education Policy Analysis, located at Rutgers University, on two studies of the impact of standards, testing and professional development on instructional practices in New Jersey. Bulkley has reviewed articles for Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Educational Policy, and Policy Studies Journal.




How to Cite

Camilli, G., & Bulkley, K. (2001). Critique of "An Evaluation of the Florida A-Plus Accountability Program". Education Policy Analysis Archives, 9, 7.