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Press Release

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Statement By: Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith Regarding the 2009 NAEP Science Results

“Today’s release of the latest NAEP Science results brings Florida a mix of news, showcasing areas of success while highlighting the challenges we still face in this critical subject area. Most notably, our 4th graders are outperforming the nation when it comes to the Basic level of measurement on the assessment, but that performance falls off when we look at 4th grade Proficient performance and the overall achievement of our 8th graders. Clearly, there exists a disconnect that we are in the process of solving.

“I am confident that we are taking the right steps to make science education in our schools a national model. Our Legislature recently increased state graduation requirements to include important science courses such as Biology and Chemistry to ensure students are gaining this essential knowledge, and we have new, next generation curriculum standards and assessments that hone in on the core science concepts students need to be learning in the classroom. Our win in the Race to the Top competition has also given us an unprecedented opportunity to apply a strict focus on improving academic performance in not just science, but technology, engineering and mathematics – the key subjects our children need to compete in today’s global economy.

“Florida has been paving a path of educational progress within our nation for many years now, and we stand well positioned to make our work in science a part of that success. Our students, and our state, are counting on us to get this right and we will not fail them.”