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Press Release

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Nation's Report Card Shows Florida's Upward Progress

~ Fourth graders continue to outshine national counterparts in reading ~

TALLAHASSEE - Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson today announced Florida's results on the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Reading and Mathematics assessments. The results show that fourth graders in the Sunshine State continue to outpace the nation in reading, with an average scale score of 225 compared to 220 nationwide. Results for Florida's Hispanic students also show higher average scale scores than their counterparts across the country, in both reading and mathematics in fourth and eighth grades, while the overall results for grades 4 and 8 show no significant change since the most recent 2009 results.

"I want to commend our students, teachers, and school districts for their tremendous efforts as these results help us further adapt classroom instruction to accommodate the needs of our students," said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. "We remain committed to the work that lies ahead to ensure students are fully prepared for their educational journey and for the demanding economy that awaits them."

In fourth grade mathematics, Hispanic students, students with disabilities and students eligible for free or reduced price lunch scored higher than the national average, and overall fourth graders matched the national average score of 240. In addition, Hispanic eighth graders scored higher than their national counterparts with a score of 274.

Since 1998, Florida has seen steady progress on NAEP and the Department of Education continues to work closely with schools across the state to infuse effective reading instruction focused on prevention and intervention, including phonemic awareness, fluency in word recognition and text processing, construction of meaning, vocabulary, spelling and writing.

Reading
Since 2003, every state in the nation has participated in NAEP, also referred to as the "Nation's Report Card." The 2011 NAEP results show that since 2003, Florida's fourth and eighth grade students have increased their overall reading scores by seven and five points respectively, compared to a four-point gain by the nation's fourth graders and a three-point gain for eighth graders.

Highlights of Florida's progress since 2003 in NAEP Reading include:

  • Reading scores of African-American fourth and eighth grade students increased 11 and nine points respectively, compared to eight points for the nation's fourth graders and four points for eighth graders.
  • Hispanic student performance in fourth and eighth grade reading increased by nine and eight points respectively, compared to six points for the nation's fourth graders and seven points for eighth graders.
  • Students with disabilities in fourth and eighth grade improved their reading scores 17 and 12 points respectively, compared to two points for the nation's fourth graders and six points for eighth graders.
  • The state's fourth and eighth grade low income students increased their performance in reading by 11 and nine points respectively, compared to six points for the nation's fourth graders and five points for eighth graders.

Mathematics
The 2011 NAEP results show that since 2003, Florida's fourth and eighth grade students have increased their overall mathematics scores by six and seven points respectively, matching their national counterparts.

Highlights of Florida's progress in NAEP Mathematics since 2003 include:

  • Florida African-American fourth and eighth graders increased their performance by 11 and nine points respectively. This compares with eight points for the nation's African-American fourth graders and 10 points for eighth graders.
  • Fourth and eighth grade students with disabilities improved their scores nine and 15 points respectively, compared with four points for the nation's fourth graders and seven points for eighth graders.
  • Florida's low income fourth and eighth grade students improved their scores by 10 and 11 points respectively, compared to seven points for the nation's fourth graders and 11 points for eighth graders.
  • Since 2003, Florida's African-American eighth graders closed the achievement gap with White students by eight points.

A congressionally-mandated project overseen by the National Center for Education Statistics to continuously monitor the achievement of the nation's children and youth, 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 about Florida's 2011 NAEP reading and mathematics performance, visit http://www.fldoe.org/asp/naep/.