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Press Release

Friday, December 7, 2012

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Florida Students Fare Well in Nation's First Vocabulary Report Card

- Fourth graders outshine national counterparts; students with disabilities and Hispanic students in fourth and eighth grade also outperform others nationwide -

Tallahassee, Fla., December 7, 2012 -The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released vocabulary results for the first time. The 2011 NAEP vocabulary assessment report shows fourth graders in Florida outpaced the nation, with an average score of 221 compared to 217 nationwide. The overall results for Florida's eighth-grade students are on par with the rest of the nation.

"These results represent the hard work of teachers and school districts in preparing students for success in school and in life," said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. "As we continue to raise standards for students, we see improvement that clearly demonstrates that Florida is moving in the right direction."

In fourth-grade vocabulary, students in most of the demographic groups outscored their national counterparts. This includes students with disabilities and students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Overall, fourth graders exceeded the national average score by four points in 2011.

Eighth graders scored similar to students nationwide with a score of 264 as compared with 263 nationally. Several groups of students in the eighth grade scored significantly better than average. Hispanic students outperformed students in their demographic nationally in 2011 with a score of 257 compared to 247 nationwide. Students with disabilities and students eligible for free and reduced-price lunches also outperformed their national counterparts.

The report shows twelfth-grade students as a whole in Florida public schools scored slightly below the average in 2009, with a score of 290 compared with 294 nationally. The reading assessment, which includes vocabulary items, was not administered for grade 12 in 2011.

Comparisons with Other States

  • Only six states had fourth-grade students who scored significantly higher than Florida fourth graders on the NAEP vocabulary assessment.
  • Eighth-grade students in 16 states had higher scores than Florida's eighth graders.

A congressionally mandated project overseen by the National Center for Education Statistics to monitor the achievement of the nation's children and youth continuously, NAEP measures and reports on the knowledge and abilities of America's fourth, eighth, and twelfth-grade students. It provides data about students' performance in a variety of subject areas at national, regional and state levels.

Grade 4
  Florida's average score Significantly lower score than Florida Not significantly different from Florida Significantly higher score than Florida Sample size not large enough
All Students 221 20 23 6* 0
White 235 38 10 1 (Mass.) 0
Black 204 12 32 1(N.D.) 5
Hispanic 213 30 16 0 3
*(Pa., Mass., Md., N.D., N.H., Va.)
Grade 8
  Florida's average score Significantly lower score than Florida Not significantly different from Florida Significantly higher score than Florida Sample size not large enough
All Students 264 10 23 16* 0
White 275 9 35 5** 0
Black 248 3 39 0 7
Hispanic 257 19 25 0 5
*(Colo., Conn., Idaho, Kan., Mass., Md., Neb., N.J., N.H., Minn., Mont., S.D., Utah., Vt., W
**(Colo., Conn., Mass., N.J., Texas)

Grade 12 - State level pilot assessment not administered in 2011
11 states participated in 2009

Grade 12
  Florida's average score Significantly lower score than Florida Not significantly different from Florida Significantly higher score than Florida Sample size not large enough
All Students 290 1 4 5* 0
White 299 0 6 4** 0
Black 273 0 7 0 3
Hispanic 281 1 6 0 3
*(Conn., Idaho, Ill., Mass., N.H..) **(Conn., Ill., Mass., N.H..)

For more information, visit Florida's NAEP Vocabulary Performance.