Florida Leads International Student Literacy Test
Sunshine State’s PIRLS of Wisdom: Reform Works
WASHINGTON – The National Center for Education Statistics today released results of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), highlighting the Sunshine State as not only a national example, but a world leader. PIRLS, an international literacy test, compares the reading achievement of U.S. fourth-graders with their peers around the globe. In the scientific study, Florida participated as a separate education system or “nation” for international comparisons, with none scoring higher than the Sunshine State.
“This is great news for Florida’s students and teachers,” said Jeb Bush, governor of Florida from 1999-2007 and chairman of the Foundation for Florida’s Future. “Sunshine State students are once again busting all the myths and proving that all kids can and will learn when education is organized around their achievement.”
Highlights from PIRLS:
All categories of Florida public school students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch scored higher than the PIRLS international scale average.
All racial and ethnic groups in Florida scored higher than the PIRLS international scale average.
When comparing Florida results to 52 other education systems outside the U.S., none scored higher than Florida. Four were not measurably different, and 48 scored lower.
Higher percentages of Florida fourth-graders performed at or above each of the four PIRLS international benchmarks than the international medians (PIRLS average = 500, U.S. average = 556, Florida average = 569).
“Reading opens doors to learning for the rest of a child’s life,” added Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of the Foundation for Florida’s Future. “PIRLS results offer another encouraging indicator that reform works. Thanks to a decade of placing a command focus on reading by state leaders and dedicated work by Florida’s teachers, more Florida students have gained the power of knowledge that only comes through reading. We look forward to continuing to work with Florida’s leaders and teachers to further improve student achievement.”
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, PIRLS was administered to nationally representative samples of fourth graders in 53 education systems around the world. It measured student performance on a combined reading and literacy scale, as well as two subscales of purposes of reading: reading for literary experience and reading to acquire and use information.
Florida continues to demonstrate results on its road to reform over the past decade, including a dramatic upturn in graduation rates, higher national and international rankings and improved school grades. Learn more at www.afloridapromise.org.
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