Education Week moved to a slimmed-down version of its annual “Quality Counts” analysis this year, after not giving overall grades or ranks to states last year. The new version, released Thursday, is based on three broad categories rather than six, and does not include several categories in which Florida traditionally scored well, including standards and accountability, and the teaching profession.
Between 2009 and 2013, Florida finished at No. 11, No. 5, No. 8, No. 11 and No. 6 in overall rank. EdWeek cautioned that this year’s overall grades are not directly comparable to past years because of the change in scoring criteria.
In the K-12 achievement category, Florida finished in the same spot as last year, No. 7, but the data in that category was not updated from last year (it’s typically updated every other year). Between 2009 and 2013, Florida finished at No. 7, No. 7, No. 6, No. 12 and No. 12 in achievement, according to EdWeek’s analyses, which look at performance and progress with NAEP scores, AP results and graduation rates.
Supporters of Florida education policy have often touted the rankings as another credible indicator of the state’s steady progress since the late 1990s. Critics have often ignored or dismissed them.
In overall rank, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland and Vermont finished at the top this year, all earning B grades. Florida’s overall grade is a C, the same as the nation’s.
In achievement, Florida finished behind Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont and Minnesota and ahead of Pennsylvania, Washington and Virginia. Florida has a far higher rate of low-income students than any of them (57.6 percent, according to the most recent federal data, compared to 35.1 percent for front-runner Massachusetts.) It was given a C in the category, while the nation earned a C-. Continue Reading →