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Press Release

Thursday, January 14, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Governor's Press Office
(850) 488-5394

Florida’s Education Progress Continues with 8th Place Ranking

~ State moves up two places on Quality Counts report despite challenging economic times ~

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist today announced that Florida’s decade of educational progress continued this year with a jump to 8th in the nation on the 2010 Quality Counts: Fresh Course, Swift Current report. Issued annually by Education Week, the report tracks state policies and performance across key areas of education and assigns each state with an overall point total to signify their education standing in the nation. This year’s increase follows continuing trends of improvement that saw the Sunshine State ranked 10th last year and 14th in 2008, up from 31st in 2007.

“Even in the face of difficult financial conditions, Florida’s education system has proven that a solid foundation and committed teaching force can make improvement a possibility under any circumstances,” said Governor Crist. “Progress in the face of uncertainty can be an overwhelming prospect, but Florida’s teachers and school leaders have clearly shown that they are up for the challenge.”

Similar to previous years, the 2010 edition of the report grades states based on their performance and policies in six main education areas: the Teaching Profession; Standards, Assessments, and Accountability; Chance for Success; School Finance; Transitions and Alignment; and K-12 Achievement. This year’s report updated scores in four of those areas (Teaching Profession, Standards, Assessments, and Accountability, Chance for Success, School Finance), and combined it with previous scores for the remaining categories. The overall point total assigned to each state is the average score for all six categories.

“Florida has spent more than a decade implementing progressive education reforms that are grounded in the successful outcome of every single child,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “Quickly climbing to 8th in the nation is a clear sign these efforts are paying off, and I am proud of our teachers and schools for the excellent work they continue to do on behalf of students.”

Highlights of the 2010 report include:

  • Florida remains 4th in the nation in the Teaching Profession category.
  • Florida moved up seven spots to 5th in the nation in the Standards, Assessments, and Accountability category.
  • Florida remains 7th in the nation in K-12 Achievement.
  • Florida improved 8 places to 31st in the School Finance category.
  • Although not a part of the overall ranking, Florida was ranked 9th in nation in terms of math progress and was tied with New York for 1st in closing the math poverty gap over the last seven years.

To view more details about Florida’s performance on the 2010 Quality Counts report, visit http://www.edweek.org/ew/qc/2010/17src.h29.html?intc=ml.