Florida high school seniors performed below the national average on a nationwide math exam and nearly matched the national average on a reading exam, according to new National Assessment of Educational Progress results released Wednesday.
Just 19 percent of Florida 12th graders were considered “proficient” on the 2013 math exam, according to test results. NAEP defines proficient as students who show solid academic performance for their grade, including competency over challenging subject matter.
Nationally, 26 percent of students achieved proficient or higher on the exam.
Reading scores were a little better. Thirty-six percent of Florida students scored proficient or above on the 2013 exam. The national rate was 38 percent.
Florida students showed no statistical improvement since the last time the exam was administered in 2009.
The results broke out the performance of 13 states on the math and reading exams, including Florida. Nine of the 13 states had a higher percentage of students scoring proficient on the math and reading exams.
The Florida Department of Education focused on the positive, highlighting the performance of Florida’s Hispanic students. The agency also noted that the gap between Florida’s white and Hispanic students is smaller than other states.
The percentage of Florida’s Hispanic 12th graders performing at or above proficient in reading improved to higher than the nation in 2013 from near the national average in 2009. Thirty-four percent of Florida’s Hispanic 12th graders scored at or above proficient, compared to only 22 percent nationwide
“The report issued today shows that Florida’s Hispanic students are definitely making progress toward closing the achievement gap,” Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said in a statement. “I am very proud of their hard work and thank Florida’s teachers for their exceptional dedication to student success. We need to keep the momentum moving forward to ensure our children are prepared for college, a career and life.”