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 Year in Review 2004: A Year’s Worth of Progress

Some of the highlights

Governor Bush reading to students while announcing partnership between Coca-Cola and Just Read, Florida!

This year, more than ever, has been a year of great progress for Florida’s students and education. The State Board of Education implemented several initiatives in 2004 requiring more assistance and accountability for all failing schools, including struggling charter schools.

Below are some highlights from 2004.

  • Of 24 states compared, Florida showed the most progress in elementary reading and math with 15 and 12 point gains respectively according to the Education Trust report.
    View Education Trust Study: Measured Progress Report (PDF)

  • Florida adopted a mandate intended to end "social promotion"—promoting students to the next grade level regardless of their academic proficiency. According to the Manhattan Institute, Florida has significantly improved the academic proficiency of low-performing students.
    View Manhattan Institute Report: An Evaluation of Florida's Program

  • For the first time, statewide FCAT reading results show more than half of all students in 3rd through 10th grade were reading at or above grade level.
    DOE Press Release

  • Minority students continued to narrow the achievement gap, with both Hispanic and African American students improving on the FCAT nearly twice as fast in reading and three times as fast in mathematics as their white counterparts.
    DOE Press Release

  • Under Governor Bush's A+ Plan for Education, 68% of Florida's schools received an 'A' or 'B' this year, compared to 21% in 1999.
    DOE Press Release

  • The State Board of Education selects John Winn, a lifelong educator, to head Florida’s Department of Education as its new Commissioner.
    DOE Press Release

  • Florida’s high expectations lead to rising student achievement with high school graduation rates increasing nearly three points in 2003-04, and nearly 12% since 1998-99 with the greatest gains among minority students. Florida's drop out rate dropped 3%, nearly 2 and half point decrease since 1998-99.
    DOE Press Release

  • Once again, the Florida Community College System is the nation's leading associate degree producer, with four of Florida's community colleges ranking among the top five. Additionally, three Florida community colleges are among the top 10 associate degree producers for minorities nationwide.
    DOE Press Release

  • Florida’s community colleges also lead in retention rates and degrees conferred among the sixteen members of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).
    DOE Press Release

  • Florida’s universities are enrolling more students than ever before, including record numbers of minority students. Of the students in Florida’s state university system, 35% are minorities.
    DOE Press Release

  • Graduation rates at Florida’s state universities rank well above the national average. Florida ranked 12th among states in overall graduation rates; Hispanics and African American students ranked 6th and 7th respectively.
    DOE Press Release

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