Putting Education Reform To The Test

Study: Florida Ranks Second In National Test Score Gains

flickr / old shoe woman

Florida ranked second in the nation in gains on a national education test, according to a study released by Education Next.

The report used data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress in math, reading, and science.

Researchers examined trends in student achievement in the U.S. and around the world from 1992 to 2011.

The study shows Florida scores increased, on average, by 3.2 percent of a standard deviation a year. That means Florida students improved by more than two grade levels during the 19-year period studied.

Those gains came despite Florida ranking at the bottom of states for increasing per pupil spending.

The United States as a whole ranks 25th out of 49 countries in student test-score gains over a 14-year period.

“If, however, the entire country performed at the level of Florida,” said Harvard researcher Eric Hanushek, “the U.S. would have ranked considerably higher among the participating countries.”

The top ten states in test-score improvement:

  1. Maryland
  2. Florida
  3. Delaware
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Louisiana
  6. South Carolina
  7. New Jersey
  8. Kentucky
  9. Arkansas
  10. Virginia

The authors noted that southern states that began to adopt education reform measures in the 1990s outpaced Midwestern states. Five of the top 10 states were in the South.

“The results of this study clearly show the incredible accomplishments of our learners,” said Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. “I am confident that our state is on the right path to providing world-class education to our students.”

The report, “Achievement Growth: International and U.S. State Trends in Student Performance,” was produced by Harvard University’s Program on Education Policy and Governance.


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