Putting Education Reform To The Test

Florida Students Equal to Baltic Nations on International Tests

Jaan Matti / Wikipedia Creative Commons

The Estonian capital city Tallinn.

Florida students’ math skills rank just below Latvia and slightly better than Lithuania, according to a new state-by-state comparison of international math and reading tests.

The U.S. ranks 17th in the world on the Program for International Student Assessment tests, according to the analysis by Harvard University’s Program on Educational Policy and Governance.

Florida students scored below U.S. averages on both math and reading tests. Florida ranked 36th among the U.S. states on math, with 27.4 percent of students proficient. In reading 28 percent of students were proficient, ranking 31st among U.S. states.

The U.S. economy could grow more quickly if U.S. students scored as high as some of their foreign counterparts, the Harvard researchers concluded.

If U.S. students scored as well as Canadian and Korean students in math, researchers wrote, the U.S. economy would grow by an additional .9 percentage points to 1.3 percentage points each year.That’s 30 percent to 50 percent more growth than long-term estimates.

The state scored higher than Taiwan on math tests, but just behind Estonia.

Chinese and Singaporese students led the rankings. Three-quarters of Shanghai math students were proficient.  More than half of Shanghai students were proficient in reading.


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