Significant Research Award, 2011
Jay Greene won the college's award given for conducting significant research.
Greene holds the Twenty-First Century Chair in Education Reform and is head of the department of education reform in the College of Education and Health Professions. He was nominated for his work titled "Public School Response to Special Education Vouchers: The Impact of Florida's McKay Scholarship Program on Disability Diagnosis and Student Achievement in Public Schools." The article was published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, described in the nomination letter as the leading empirical journal of the American Educational Research Association.
Greene also presented the research with his former student, Marcus Winters, at conferences organized by the University of Virginia and the Heritage Foundation. Greene and Winters found some evidence that competition from a voucher program for disabled students decreased the likelihood that a student was diagnosed as having a mild disability and was positively related to academic achievement in the public schools.
According to the Social Science Citation Index, the working papers that resulted in this peer-reviewed publication have been cited 17 times. The research was featured on C-SPAN and the Fox Business Channel. It has also appeared in 25 newspaper articles or opinion pieces and 12 blog posts. The evidence produced by this research has been influential in the creation and regulation of the nine existing state voucher or tax credit scholarship programs for students with disabilities.
No other research team has empirically examined this important and growing policy, according to the nomination and letters of support from students. As a result, Greene and Winters’ work has had a significant influence on the scholarly and policy discussions about special education vouchers.
One student described the importance of the research this way: "Given the ever increasing number of students enrolled in special education programs, it is essential that scholarship develop regarding patterns of diagnosis and effectiveness. School leaders need this information, parents need this information, taxpayers need this information, and policymakers especially need this information. This work is an important first step in developing the methods needed to begin to answer these pressing questions and will set a standard for other work to follow."
Students also cited Greene's emphasis on collaboration with graduate students at all stages of the research he conducts.