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PRESS RELEASE

September 25, 2007

Tom Butler
(850) 245-0413

2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress
Results Highlight Florida's Successes

TALLAHASSEE — Governor Charlie Crist and Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg today announced Florida's results of the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Florida again surpassed the national average in both fourth grade reading and mathematics and, for the first time, matched the national average for eighth grade reading. Florida was one of only four states with significant increases in both fourth and eighth grade reading since 2005. Minority students and students with disabilities also met or exceeded the performance of students nationally.

“These outstanding results clearly indicate that raising academic achievement standards and holding schools accountable is making a positive impact on Florida’s educational progress,” said Governor Crist. “This success would not be possible without the dedicated efforts of teachers, administrators and parents across the entire state.”

Fourth Grade Reading and Mathematics Results – 2005 to 2007:

  • Fourth grade students improved five points in reading from 219 to 224. This is four points higher than the national average score of 220. Florida was one of only 18 states whose average fourth grade reading score increased between 2005 and 2007.
  • Fourth grade students improved three points in mathematics from 239 to 242. This is three points higher than the national average of 239. Florida was one of only 23 states whose average fourth grade mathematics score increased between 2005 and 2007.

“I am thrilled by the increases in Florida's fourth grade reading and mathematics scores,” said Chairman T. Willard Fair. “These results indicate that our learning initiatives at the elementary school level provide a solid foundation for a lifetime of learning success.”

Eighth Grade Reading and Mathematics Results – 2005 to 2007:

  • Eighth grade reading scores increased four points (from 256 to 260), matching the national average. Florida was one of only six states whose eighth grade reading average scores increased between 2005 and 2007.
  • Eighth grade students improved three points in mathematics (from 274 to 277), but remain three points below the national average.

“Florida’s eighth grade reading progress is a tremendous achievement and shows that our middle school reform efforts are taking root,” said Commissioner Blomberg. “Our newly created Office of Mathematics and Science will continue to address mathematics improvement at the middle school level as we introduce our new standards in classrooms throughout the state.”

Long-Term National Performance – 2003 to 2007:

  • 2003 marks the first year in which every state in the nation participated in NAEP and serves as the most accurate benchmark for determining long-term performance trends.
  • This year, Florida’s fourth-graders outperformed 58 percent of other states in reading and 60 percent in mathematics, up from 37 percent in both reading and mathematics in 2003.
  • Additionally, Florida’s eighth-graders outperformed 35 percent of other states in reading and 31 percent in mathematics this year, up from 19 percent in reading and 25 percent in mathematics in 2003.
  • Florida was a top-gaining state in fourth grade mathematics, with a score increase of eight points between 2003 and 2007.

Closing the Achievement Gap and Student Group Performance

  • African American fourth grade reading and mathematics scores have significantly risen. This year, the average score has risen to 208 in reading and 225 in mathematics, up from 198 in reading and 215 in mathematics in 2003.
  • Florida is one of only five states that showed a significant narrowing of the White/African American achievement gap between 2003 and 2007 in fourth grade reading.
  • African American eighth grade students also showed a significant increase in mathematics scores. In 2007, the average score has risen to 259, up from 249 in 2003.
  • Florida is one of only seven states where the achievement gap between White and African-American eighth grade students decreased significantly in eighth grade mathematics.
  • Since 2003, Hispanic fourth grade reading and mathematics scores have significantly risen. In 2007, the average score has risen to 218 in reading and 238 in mathematics, up from 211 in reading and 232 in mathematics in 2003.
  • Hispanic eighth grade students also showed increases in reading and mathematics scores. In 2007, the average score has risen to 256 in reading and 270 in mathematics, up from 251 in reading and 264 in mathematics in 2003.
  • Since 2003, fourth grade students with disabilities reading and mathematics scores have significantly risen. In 2007, the average score has risen to 195 in reading and 223 in mathematics, up from 184 in reading and 214 in mathematics in 2003.
  • Eighth grade students with disabilities also showed a significant increase in mathematics scores. In 2007, the average score has risen to 246 in mathematics, up from 235 in 2003.
  • Since 2003, low-income fourth grade students’ reading and mathematics scores have significantly risen. In 2007, the average score has risen to 213 in reading and 233 in mathematics, up from 205 in reading and 222 in mathematics in 2003.
  • Low-income eighth grade students also showed a significant increase in mathematics scores. In 2007, the average score has risen to 265 in mathematics, up from 256 in 2003.
  • Between 2003 and 2007, Florida is one of only two states where the achievement gap between low and higher income fourth grade students decreased significantly in mathematics and one of only three states where it decreased in reading.

Known as the "nation's report card," the NAEP is a congressionally mandated project overseen by the National Center for Education Statistics to continuously monitor the knowledge, skills and performance of the nation's children and youth. Since 1969, NAEP has measured and reported on the knowledge and abilities of America's fourth, eighth and 12th grade students, providing data about students' performance in a variety of subject areas at national, regional and state levels.

For more information regarding Florida's performance on the 2007 NAEP Reading and Mathematics, visit www.nationsreportcard.gov. For charts depicting Florida's NAEP results (PDF, 128KB), visit http://www.fldoe.org/asp/naep/naep2007.asp.