ICYMI: ALEC & Rio Grande Foundation's Ed. Reform Scholar Wins Award for "Lousy" Ed. Research

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ICYMI: ALEC & Rio Grande Foundation’s Ed. Reform Scholar Wins Award for “Lousy” Ed. Research

A University of Colorado education policy center awarded education reform champion Dr. Matthew Ladner a 2011 Bunkum Award for his misleading and unsupported work pushing Florida’s education model on other states, including New Mexico.

Governor Martinez is one of the Florida model’s biggest fans.  During her first post-election press conference she stated:

“The Florida model is a proven one…We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We need to do what is best for New Mexico as quickly as possible.”

And Martinez hired former Gov. Jeb Bush-administration education leaders, including former FL Deputy Education Commissioner Hanna Skandera who continues to push Florida reforms as a model for instate education.

Since then, Ladner has been invited to testify before state house and senate committees on a path for education reform in New Mexico. 

The conservative Rio Grande Foundation has done its part to promote that model and Ladner as its chief scholar.  Ladner, an “adjunct fellow” with the RGF, appears on the group’s website no less than 11 times, including luncheons and joint appearances with the group’s president Paul Gessing promoting Ladner’s scholarly work.

The RGF’s Capitol Report has even describes Ladner as “a soft-spoken guy who is armed with some startling statistics,” and Ladner’s research supported an op-ed in the Albuquerque Journal in 2010.

However, the peer-reviewed group evaluating Ladner’s work called it “nonsensical, confusing and disingenuous.”

“Florida’s recent test score results are notably unimpressive, but Ladner continues to promote his favored policies, ..” they conclude.

Notably, “Ladner has authored a number of studies on school choice, charter schools and special education reform for organizations including the American Legislative Exchange Council, the corporate-supported organization that pushed for “Stand Your Ground” legislation in Florida and other states.”