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Press Release

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Florida Students Maintain Progress on National Math Assessment
~ Fourth grade minority students and students with disabilities surpass national averages ~

TALLAHASSEE – According to results released today by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Florida’s fourth and eighth grade students have maintained long-term academic gains in math achievement. The results indicate that since 2003, Florida’s fourth and eighth grade students have increased their overall math scores by eight points each compared to a five point gain for the nation’s fourth-graders and six points for eighth-graders. The results also show that Florida’s fourth grade minority students and students with disabilities continue to outpace their national counterparts.

“Our teachers and students have worked hard to maintain the tremendous academic progress our state has achieved over the last decade and although there is still much work to be done, these results show that their efforts are paying off,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “I’m particularly excited to see such strong performance in our minority students and students with disabilities, who continue to score well above national averages.”

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. Highlights of Florida’s 2009 NAEP math results include:

  • Fourth grade students maintained the previous year’s average math score of 242. This is three points higher than the national average of 239 and represents an eight point increase for the state since 2003.
  • The percentage of Florida fourth-graders performing at or above Basic is greater than the national average for every student group tested in the state. Scoring at or above Basic on NAEP is comparable to scoring at or above Achievement Level 3 on the Math Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT).
  • The percentage of Florida eighth-graders performing at or above Basic is equal to or greater than the national average for every student group tested in the state.
  • Since 2003, Florida’s African-American fourth-graders have narrowed the math achievement gap with White students by 6 points, compared to minimal reductions by the nation.
  • Since 2003, Florida’s African-American eighth-graders have narrowed the math achievement gap with White students by 12 points, compared to the nation’s three point narrowing.
  • Fourth grade students with disabilities increased their average math score to 230 this year, a seven point increase since 2007 and a 16 point increase since 2003. This year’s average score is 10 points above the national average of 220.

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 2009 NAEP math performance, visit www.nationsreportcard.gov. For charts depicting Florida's NAEP math results, visit http://www.fldoe.org/asp/naep/naep2009math.asp.