The Sunshine State ranks No. 7 in K-12 achievement this year, up from No. 12 last year, says Education Week in its latest annual “Quality Counts” report.
Released Thursday morning, the report for the first time since 2008 did not include overall grades or ranks for each state. (Florida ranked No. 11, No. 5, No. 8, No. 11 and No. 6 over those years.) It did, though, continue to offer grades and ranks for six separate categories, including the one that matters the most.
In K-12 achievement, Florida earned a C, up from a C- last year. Massachusetts and Maryland earned the highest grade, a B; New Jersey, a B-; and the others ahead of Florida, a C+. The nation as a whole earned a C-.
Florida has a far greater percentage of low-income students than the states ahead of it or immediately behind it (roughly 10 to 30 percentage points more). It also stands out because of how aggressively it has pursued school choice and top-down accountability.
Gov. Rick Scott credited teachers: “Today’s news that Florida jumped to 7th nationwide in K-12 achievement is the result of great work by our teachers,” he said in a written statement. Florida families depend on an education system that provides every student with a quality education, and that’s why in our last budget we fought to provide our teachers with a pay raise and secured more than $1 billion in additional investments for K-12 education.”