Center for
Educational Performance & Accountability

About the Center

The Center for Educational Performance and Accountability (CEPA) addresses the profound fiscal and economic impact that PreK-20 education has on Florida ́s future, and makes recommendations to improve both the quality and cost-effectiveness of this essential public service. The Center advocates sound education policy that promotes high academic achievement and reliable assessment tools, maximizes the return on taxpayer investment, and helps foster a more competitive Florida. 

Recent Center Research
Options for Reforming Class Size Limits

2/2015  This report, the third in a series, outlines options to reform Florida's class size limits that have cost taxpayers more than $30 billion since voters approved them in a 2002 constitutional amendment.

Budget Watch - Governor's Recommended Budget

2/2015  This Budget Watch analyzes Governor Scott's FY2015-16 budget recommendations.

Annual Government Efficiency Recommendations - 2015

12/2014  The Center for Government Efficiency defines government efficiency as the intersection of cost avoidance, targeted investments and effective governance, three characteristics that define the recommendations included in this year's report, which could save Florida taxpayers billions of dollars.

Smaller Schools, Not Smaller Classes

12/2014  While Florida's $30 billion investment in smaller class sizes has not resulted in increased achievement for public school students, smaller schools promise a variety of education-related benefits. This report shows a variety of positive outcomes stemming from smaller schools rather than smaller class sizes.

Florida the Most Veteran-Friendly State

11/2014  Florida, home to more than 1.6 million veterans, has provided a number of tax and related benefits to veterans and their families, in an effort to become the most veteran-friendly state in the nation. To celebrate Veterans Day, Florida TaxWatch compiled a list of Florida's veteran-friendly policies.

Budget Watch - Small Surplus Projected for Next Florida State Budget

10/2014  Florida lawmakers are expected to have a small budget surplus when they come to Tallahassee in 2015. State economists have predicted that funding a continuation budget next year will leave $336.2 million in available General Revenue funds. This is the fourth surplus in four years, despite being less than half of the surplus in fiscal year 2013-14.

Economic Commentary - College Football: An Economic Driver for Florida's Local Economies

8/2014  On the precipice of college football kickoff, this report highlights the economic benefits of Florida's seven Division I NCAA football teams, and explains how football programs increase revenue for schools and the state as a whole.

How Florida Compares - Education

8/2014  This easy-to-read guide makes it easy for Floridians to see how the state's education system stacks up compared to the rest of the nation. The report, How Florida Compares - Education, compares Florida students' achievement in math and reading, the cost for education, and enrollment figures, among other data.

Legislation Affecting Florida Revenues

7/2014  All the bills passed by the 2014 Legislature have now been evaluated by the state's revenue estimators, resulting in a revenue reduction of more than $550 in the current fiscal year. Local revenues will be reduced by $41.5 million and $37.0 million. Despite the declining revenue estimates, the reduction still leaves $1.65 billion in general revenue reserves for the fiscal year, according to the July Budget Watch.

Pocket Guide to the FY2014-15 Florida State Budget

7/2014  On July 1, Florida began operating under it's largest-ever state budget. At $77 billion, the budget funds core services that citizens depend and rely on, but it can be challenging to understand. Floridians now have help in understanding the state budget thanks to Florida TaxWatch. The Florida TaxWatch Taxpayer's Pocket Guide to Florida's FY2014-15 State Budget highlights spending in each of the budget areas and provides a look back at Florida's fiscal growth.

FY2014-15 House and Senate Budget Comparison

4/2014  This BudgetWatch report compares the FY2014-15 House and Senate budgets in each spending area, and shows the change versus the current fiscal year.

Commercializing Florida's Public Research

3/2014  Florida's universities and research institutes are creating of some of the states most advanced technologies, but one Florida Institute is helping to bring them to the masses. The Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research, highlighted in this Economic Commentary, invests in developing companies using the latest products and processes invented at Florida's publicly-funded universities and research institutes.

Taking a Fresh Look at Florida's Class Size Limits

3/2014  Since voters approved a 2002 Constitutional Amendment to reduce class sizes, taxpayers have spent more than $27 billion (including capital facilties and operating costs) to comply with the law, despite research that shows smaller class sizes do not result in higher achievement levels for students in grades 4-12. According to this report, changing the calculations for determining class size restrictions would better serve students and could save taxpayers $10 billion over ten years.

Economic Impact Evaluation of a Proposed Honeybee Research and Extension Laboratory in Florida

3/2014  A new honeybee research facility could make Florida a global leader in agricultural research and is estimated to return more than $1 million in state tax revenue to Florida. The proposed facility, to be established at the University of Florida, would attract research revenue as well as help recruit and retain top researchers and students.

Florida's University Research Parks

2/2014  Florida's nine university research parks help create high-wage jobs, diversify the state economy and ensure Florida retains top graduates, according to this month's Economic Commentary. The report highlights the importance of Florida's research parks to the creation and sustainability of STEM jobs in the state.

Budget Watch - Governor's Proposed Budget - FY2014-15

1/2014  Highlights from Governor Rick Scott's proposed budget plan for FY 2014-15 are featured in this Budget Watch Report. The $74.20 billion spending plan is slightly lower than current year spending, even as lawmakers are expected to have their first budget surplus in many years.

Ideas in Action: On Common Core

10/2013  This Ideas in Action piece features opinion-editorials published by the Tallahassee Democrat in October 2013. They are republished here with permission from the authors.

Selecting the Assessments for Florida's New Education Standards

10/2013  Florida's new education assessment should measure students content mastery and compare their achievement to students outside of the state, according to this Briefing. An effective assessment requires student comparison, field testing and alignment with the new standards, which call for students to master content at a deeper level and apply their comprehension skills.

Florida Boys & Girls Clubs: An Analysis of Educational, Juvenile Justice, and Economic Outcomes

9/2013  Florida Boys and Girls Clubs (FBGC) participants demonstrate significant differences in educational and juvenile justice outcomes versus similar peers who do not take advantage of the FBGC programs, according to this Special Report.

The Importance of Teacher Preparation to Student Achievement

9/2013  Within Florida's new educational standards, students will be expected to understand and apply rigorous English language arts and mathematics content at a much deeper level, to reflect on what they are learning, to defend or depart from conclusions, and to collaborate with other students in their learning process. For students to be successful, teachers must be afforded time with their colleagues to develop the same skills for their instructional practices.

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Center Advisory Board


David Mann
SunTrust North Florida

Mr. Brewser Brown
SKB Consulting

Dr. Elaine W. Bryant
E.W. Bryant Associates

Mr. Dominic Calabro
Florida TaxWatch

Ms. Stacy Carlson
Helios Education Foundation

Ms. Mary Chance
Consortium of Florida Education Foundations

Dr. Paul Cottle
Florida State University

Mr. Brian Cunningham
J Strategies

Mr. Steven L. Evans
IBM (Ret.)

Ms. Erin Fields

Mr. J. Charles Gray
GrayRobinson, P.A.

Mr. Robert Haag
Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools

Ms. Viann Hardy
Maximus, Inc.

Mr. Michael A. Jennings

Ms. Kelli Lane
Keiser University

Dr. Laura Lang
Florida State University

Mr. David Lawrence, Jr.
Early Childhood Initiative Foundation

Mr. Alan J. Levy
Great American Farms

Honorable William J. Montford
Florida State Senator & CEO, Florida Association of District School Superintendents

Ms. Crisha Murray-Scolaro
The Pepin Academies, Inc.

Ms. Susan Pareigis
The Florida Council of 100

Ms. Sherry Plymale
Florida Atlantic University

Honorable William "Bill" Proctor
Florida House of Representatives & Chancellor, Flagler College

Ms. Lisa Roy
State Farm Insurance Companies

Ms. Lyn Stanfield
Apple, Inc.

Honorable Pam Stewart
Florida Commissioner of Education

Honorable Stephen Wise
Florida State Senator

Ms. Julie Young
Florida Virtual School (RET.)

Dr. Dhyana Ziegler
Florida A& M University

Center Research

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Morgan McCord        
Communications Coordinator

106 N. BRONOUGH ST., TALLAHASSEE, FL 32301     |     TEL: 850.222.5052     |     FAX: 850.222.7476