During the State Board of Education meeting, the State Board of Education today unanimously voted to keep Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart in her position for an additional year to help ensure Florida remains on this positive trajectory. To read the resolution, click HERE.
State Board of Education Chair Marva Johnson said, “The Florida Constitution charges the State Board with supervising the state’s public education system, and we take seriously this immense responsibility. Under Commissioner Stewart’s leadership, the Department has implemented policies that have enabled Florida students to reach unprecedented levels of achievement. I am grateful for her willingness to continue serving the people of Florida in this role, and I look forward to continuing to work with education leaders throughout the state in promoting students’ ongoing success.”
The Florida Constitution provides charges the State Board of Education with the “supervision of the system of free public education,” including the appointment of the commissioner of education.
“Serving as Education Commissioner has been a highlight of my career, and I am honored to accept the State Board of Education’s invitation. When I first began teaching and in many of the years that followed, Florida consistently ranked toward the bottom of nearly every national education ranking, and it seemed an impossibility that Florida would ever rise to the top,” said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. “Today, as a result of our strong accountability system, the hard work of Florida educators at every level, and the ardent support of Governor Rick Scott, Florida leads the nation in a number of key education measures. Still, we remain committed to ensuring all Florida students have the chance to reach their full potential, and I appreciate the opportunity to continue advocating for the best interests of our students.”
The State Board of Education resolution noted the following facts, which highlight Florida’s progress:
- The academic achievement of Florida’s students has been consistently improving for over two decades;
- Florida’s graduation rate rose to 82.3 percent, an increase of 23.1 percentage points since 2003-04 and 1.6 percentage points over last year;
- Florida’s Hispanic students, Black students, and students who qualify for free and reduced lunch now rank number one among the 50 states in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Grade 4 Mathematics;
- Florida has made more progress than any other state in the nation in 2017, as the only state that showed significant improvement in three of the four NAEP assessments;
- Florida’s scores on 2018 statewide, standardized assessments showed continued improvement and demonstrated that the achievement gap is closing across many grade levels and subjects.
- The number of Florida school grades “D” and “F” was cut nearly in half last year and today, 57 percent of Florida schools are rated “A” or “B” and only 7 percent are rated “D” or “F.”
- Florida’s high school and middle school students earned almost 100,000 Career and Professional Education (CAPE) certifications in 2016-17; and
- Florida’s College System has had for the last five years multiple institutions recognized as winners or finalists in the Aspen Prize for College Excellence.
For more information about the Florida Department of Education, visit fldoe.org.