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STRIDES MADE IN FLORIDA EDUCATION FROM 2001 TO 2004

Florida's 4th graders made unprecedented progress…
According to the NAEP Assessment, commonly referred to as the nation's report card:

  • Florida's 4th graders surpassed the national average in reading, and met the national average in math for the 1st time in our state's history.
  • Florida was the only state to show improvement in 4th grade reading last year.

Student achievement has risen steadily…

  • For the first time, a majority of students (51%) are reading on grade level – compared to 46 percent in 2001
  • System wide, the number of struggling readers has decreased from 33 percent in 2001 to 28 percent today
  • Minorities continue to make the greatest learning gains, further closing the achievement gap

Florida raised the bar under Governor Bush's A+ Plan for Education, and schools continued to improve…

  • 68 percent of Florida's public schools received an 'A' or 'B' this year compared to 41 percent in 2001
  • Florida has seen a reduction in the number of struggling schools (school receiving ‘D' or ‘F', from 12 percent in 2001 to 9 percent this year

Parents have more choices…

  • 40% growth in the number of charter schools (from 182 charter schools in 2001 to 255 charter schools today)
  • 1,316% more disabled students receiving McKay Scholarships (from 970 in 2001 to 13,739 in 2004)
  • 11,515 more low-income students receiving Corporate Tax Credit Scholarships (program started in 2002)
  • 1,154% more parents empowered to leave failing schools through Opportunity Scholarships (from 51 in 2001 to 640 in 2004)

Florida has more and better ways to recruit the best and brightest to teaching…

  • Florida has eliminated the backlog in teacher certification and streamlined the process for getting certified
  • The Department of Education processed 14,871 applications and issued 6,647 certificates in March 2004, compared to 6,382 applications and 3,310 certificates the previous year

Florida has taken the lead in minority PSAT and AP participation…

  • 17 percent of all African American and 27 percent of all Hispanic PSAT test takers nationwide are from Florida.
  • The number of Advance Placement test takers has increased, with a 116 percent jump among African Americans and 102 percent increase among Hispanic students.

Florida's Community Colleges continue to lead the nation…

  • Florida produced more associate degrees and certificates than any other state in the nation and accomplished this while maintaining low tuition rates and high faculty salaries
  • Three Florida colleges are in the top ten associate degree producers for minorities, including two in the top five for African American students and two in the top ten for Hispanic students

Florida's Universities are more diverse, without the use of racial quotas…

  • 91,276 minority students (34.3 percent) enrolled in state universities last year, compared to 84,622 in 2001 (33.6 percent)