As many states try to decipher between effective and ineffective methods of educating children, one education researcher suggests contrasting the approaches of California and Florida.

The two states took radically different reform paths between 1998 and 1999, according to Dr. Vicki Murray of the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) and the Pacific Research Institute (PJI). She tells OneNewsNow that California ratcheted-up education spending while Florida maintained the steady pace of annual increases but focused on tough standards and parental choice.

“The proof is in the pudding,” Dr. Murray decides, noting that student test scores across every socio-economic sub-group in Florida have improved while California ranks near the bottom in student achievement.

“Florida is cleaning California’s clock, but the good news is there’s no reason any other state in the country couldn’t adopt that same approach of tough standards,” she contends. “No nonsense, rewards for success, and consequences for failure — that’s what works.”

She adds that a lesson could be learned in comparing California’s education methods with Florida’s.

“More money for more of the same is not going to get the job done,” Murray points out. “What we know is when money follows students to public or private schools that work best for them, not only do those students improve, but allowing that introduces competition, which benefits all students.”

The education researcher reports that research over the years continually shows that competition improves public schools across all outcomes, including higher student performance, better use of resources, smaller class sizes, and higher teacher pay.