Senator Bullard Responds to PISA International Test Scores Showing Florida Students Lag National and International Peers

Dec 9 • 1245 Views • View Comments

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MIAMI – State Senator Dwight Bullard (D-39) reacted to the latest PISA results of 15-year old students around the world, showing that Florida students lag behind their national and international peers. Senator Bullard cautioned against misleading conclusions about education in America and called on stakeholders to identify the true lessons of the PISA scores.

“The real crisis in Florida is the deep inequality between our wealthiest and poorest students,” Senator Bullard stated. “Many will interpret the PISA scores showing our students ranking below their national and international peers as a call for more school reforms. I caution individuals against that knee-jerk reaction. The information released in the reports is just another indication that the educational standards and policy initiatives of Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence has not moved us one inch. If we’re to truly move forward in the global marketplace of ideas and standards we must begin to get input from our troops on the ground– our teachers and parents.”

Senator Bullard continued that “the numbers that scare me more than Florida’s PISA performance are Florida’s high poverty levels and low investments in education. When you look closer at the American students in schools with 10% or less poverty they score among the top performers in the world on the PISA, where in In contrast, students in schools with more than 75% poverty score last.”

The study went on to include the following information:

  • Child poverty in Florida jumped from 18% in 2008 to 22% in 2012.  In Miami, child poverty jumped from 33% to 44% over the same time period;
  • Florida has one of the lowest state shares in public education funding in the nation, ranking 46th and well below the national average of  44%;
  • Under our current punitive A-F school grading system, our wealthiest schools never get F’s and schools with concentrated poverty struggle to get to a C.

“As we take stock of these results, I welcome the discussions that PISA should spark about how to improve Florida’s schools. We do know what hasn’t worked: high-stakes testing used for punitive purposes, a misguiding and confusing A-F school grading system and privatizing our public educational system,” Senator Bullard stated. “We need to reclaim the promise of public education for all Florida children.”


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