Florida’s Results Mix of Positives and a Call to Action
Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran reacted to Florida’s results on the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 4th and 8th grade reading and mathematics assessments. While Florida remains a leader at closing achievement gaps and Florida’s public charter school students are notably outpacing the nation’s students, the overall results illustrate that Florida has a long way to go before claiming victory for all of Florida’s students.
Commissioner of Education, Richard Corcoran issued the following statement, “Today’s NAEP results make it very clear that unless we start raising expectations for students, we will continue to see stagnant growth. What we’ve learned after 20 years of reforms is that where expectations are flat, results are flat. This realization is why I want to applaud Governor DeSantis for reinvigorating a bold vision for success for every Florida student.
“I share Governor DeSantis’ vision to make Florida the Education State and make Florida number one in all metrics of student achievement. Florida’s NAEP results have relatively flat lined. We are #6 in 4th grade reading and #4 in 4th grade math.
“If we are to be measured by how we lift up those with the most need, Florida must use these results to embrace the momentum that has been reasserted by Governor DeSantis. In 2019, Governor DeSantis restored a culture of being big and bold for all Florida students. They are counting on us. For if we are not bold and brave, then we deny our children equitable access to the beautiful lifelong opportunities that they all deserve.”
Highlights of 2019 NAEP Results in Florida:
- Florida has prioritized closing achievements gaps, and the NAEP results confirm that fact.Florida students who are Black, Hispanic, have a disability, are English Language Learners or come from low-income families typically outperform their peers in comparison to their peers across the country. They frequently rank in the top 5 nationally.
- Florida’s public charter schools, which serve 69% minority students and 53% low-income students statewide, have again answered the call to higher achievement. According to the 2019 NAEP results, if Florida’s 658 public charter schools and their 314,000 students were their own state, they would rank #2 in 4th grade reading, tied for #2 in 4th grade math, #1 in 8th grade reading and tied for #5 in 8th grade math.
- Among the 27 large, urban school districts nationally that participated in the 2019 NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA), Miami-Dade County Public Schools ranked #1 in 4th grade reading, Duval County Public Schools ranked #2 in 4th grade math, and Hillsborough County Public Schools ranked #3 in 4th grade reading.
- On one hand, 70% of Florida students scored at or above NAEP’s basic level on 4th grade reading (#7 nationally), 87% on 4th grade math (#1 nationally), 72% on 8th grade reading (#30 nationally) and 66% on 8th grade math (#36 nationally). However, Florida and the nation are moving backwards in nearly all of these results.
- The reality is the gap between Florida’s top performing students and the bottom 25% of Florida’s students is widening. For example, Florida’s 8th grade reading scores dropped 3 points and our ranking remained #22. However, the bottom 25% of Florida’s 8th grade reading students actually dropped 6 points, and the bottom 10% dropped 9 points.
In less than one year in office, Governor DeSantis has restored a culture of urgency for a student-centered focus in Florida’s education system through:
- Issuing Executive Order 19-32, calling for Florida to eliminate Common Core and ensure high quality academic standards. The 2019 NAEP results show that Common Core standards have not helped states make progress. The results speak for themselves, nationwide and in Florida.
- Issuing a call through Executive Order 19-32 to find innovative ways to streamline assessments so that Florida’s education systems are aligned to great opportunities for students’ lives beyond the classroom. Our students, teachers and schools will meet that bar if they know it has value and their successes are celebrated.
- His historic proposal to raise the minimum salary for teachers to $47,500, #2 in the nation, is a proposal that would impact more than 101,000 teachers. Nearly 60% of Florida’s teachers would immediately benefit. This will also send a signal nationwide that Florida has a long-term vision to elevate the teaching profession, the #1 component to ensure every student in Florida receives a world-class education.
- Emphasizing that the early foundational years of a student’s educational journey are critical. Prekindergarten preparation should connect into early literacy education that puts students on grade level by fourth grade.
- Pushing for accountability, Florida must continue urgently improving our D and F graded schools. While 315 of Florida’s Title 1 schools earned an A in 2019 and another 583 earned a B, the harsh reality is that 86% of C, D and F schools are Title 1 schools.
Background on NAEP
The NAEP assessments give Florida (and every state) a meaningful opportunity to take a step back, examine progress every two years, and self-reflect on how Florida is giving students meaningful and equitable opportunities to discover and flourish in their unique educational journeys. NAEP is the only assessment that provides a common measure of student achievement in various subjects across the nation. NAEP results are released as “The Nation’s Report Card.” NAEP gives Florida a clear view of how our students are progressing as compared to students across the nation.
For more information about the Florida Department of Education, visit fldoe.org.