Florida gets a B- on Education with 67% of 8th Grade Students reading below grade level?

StudentsFirst has released its 2014 State Policy Report Card for Florida. StudentsFirst states, “Unlike most report cards, ours doesn’t look at test scores. Instead, it focuses on whether each state’s laws prioritize the interests of students and families. While the report card will show you many areas where Florida policymakers can improve, StudentsFirst Florida’s primary focus for the 2014 legislative session will be on fiscal transparency.”

According to the 2014 State Policy Report Card Florida students scored as follows on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP):

NAEP Proficiency 2013      Basic & Below Basic    Proficient & Advanced
4th Grade Math                                        59%                                41%
4th Grade Reading                                 61%                                 39%
8th Grade Math                                        69%                                 31%
8th Grade Reading                                 67%                                 33%

Source: 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

The state received a B- on education with a GPA of 2.71. When I went to school anything below a 3.0 was, and still is, a C.

Governor Scott has been touting his rewarding teachers with a $2,500 across the board teacher pay raise. He may want to rethink that decision. Is he and the Florida legislature may be giving credit where none due.

Contributor Karen Schoen states, “How much money was spent on this disgrace. Worse yet is that this organization give Florida a B- when 2/3 of the kids are reading below level. Who wants to go to a doctor or mechanic reading in the group of 2/3 reading below level? Why is this remotely acceptable? These programs are designed to fail and they are doing just that FAILING. When you seek mediocrity, you get mediocrity. Garbage in Garbage out.”

The 2014 State Policy Report Card takes an extensive look at education policies and regulations in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. Ultimately, a letter grade from “A” to “F” is assigned to each state based on how well its policies align with StudentsFirst’s Policy Agenda. The 2014 grades reflect the status of states’ laws as of December 20, 2013; it does not incorporate proposed or planned legislation.

“Its the curriculum stupid. Teachers without tenure have lost their voice,” notes Schoen. Grading on effort rather than outcomes gives a false impression. As Milton Friedman wrote, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”

Evaluation Process

A team of policy analysts researched and analyzed education policies, laws, and regulations in every state and the District of Columbia. After the initial analysis, a vigorous quality control process began, which included benchmarking and corroborating our assessment with additional sources as well as requesting feedback and input from state education officials. Twenty-seven states provided StudentsFirst with feedback this year.