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Florida Students Lead the Nation in Reading and Mathematics

Governor Rick Scott today announced Florida’s results on the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading and mathematics assessments. The results show that Florida is the only state to have improved significantly in grade 4 mathematics, grade 8 reading and grade 8 mathematics between 2015 and 2017. Additionally, three Florida urban school districts earned top spots for performance among large urban school districts – Duval County Schools, Hillsborough County Schools, and Miami-Dade County Schools.

Governor Scott said, “Florida students have again outpaced their peers and have demonstrated once again that our states’ commitment to providing a high quality public education for each student has paid dividends. My wife, Ann, and I benefitted from public educations, so we understand the important role that our schools play in ensuring our students can grow and achieve. A large part of today’s success comes from a commitment from Florida taxpayers to continue to invest in Florida schools. During my time in office, state funding for Florida’s K-12 public schools has increased by $3.2 billion or 37 percent. Every Floridian should be proud of the results that our educators and schools have delivered for our students today.”

Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart said, “Today’s announcement provides further evidence that Florida’s commitment to high expectations and strong accountability is right for Florida students. We continue to see the benefit of focusing on policies that ensure Florida schools have high-quality teachers and administrators, and that students, families and educators have access to outcomes-based information about school and district performance. As a result, student success has continued to climb. I am thrilled to congratulate our state’s students on their accomplishments and to thank the educators whose hard work and dedication helped make this achievement possible.”

Highlights of the 2017 NAEP Reading and Mathematics state and national results include:

  • Florida made more progress than any other state in the nation in 2017, as the only state that showed significant improvement in 3 of the 4 NAEP assessments administered in 2017.

  • Florida students outperformed the nation in grade 4 Reading, grade 8 Reading, and grade 4 Mathematics.

  • All of Florida’s student subgroups significantly outperformed their national peers in grade 4 Mathematics. (Subgroups are defined by NAEP as White, Black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, students eligible for free/reduced lunch, students with disabilities, and English language learners in 2017.)

  • All of Florida’s student subgroups outperformed their national peers in grade 4 Reading, and many of them significantly outperformed their national peers.

  • Florida is the only state that showed significant improvement in grade 4 and grade 8 Mathematics between 2015 and 2017.

  • Florida’s grade 4 Hispanic students rank #1 among the 50 states in reading and mathematics.

  • Florida’s Hispanic students, Black students, students eligible for free/reduced lunch, and students with disabilities rank #1 among the 50 states in grade 4 Mathematics performance.

Highlights of the 2017 NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) Reading and Mathematics results include:

  • Among the 27 large, urban school districts that participated in the 2017 NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA), the three participating districts from Florida occupied top spots for performance in Reading and Mathematics.

  • Duval County Public Schools ranked #1 in grade 4 Mathematics and #3 in grades 4 and 8 Reading

  • Hillsborough County Public Schools ranked #1 in grade 8 Reading, #2 in grade 4 Reading, and #3 in grade 4 Mathematics

  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools ranked #1 in grade 4 Reading and #2 in grade 4 Mathematics


  • Florida has rigorous standards (Florida Standards) that guide instruction in all K-12 courses and grade levels, and the statewide standardized assessments are aligned to the Florida Standards. The Florida Standards were established with input from thousands of Florida stakeholders, including educators and local education leaders, students, parents and many other members of the public.

  • Florida has been a national leader in developing and refining school-based accountability for two decades. In that time, the standards and statewide assessments became more rigorous. As a result, student performance has improved continually. Today, 56 percent of Florida schools are rated A or B and only 8 percent are rated D or F.

  • As Florida raised standards for students, teacher certification exams became more rigorous to ensure that newly certified teachers have the skills and knowledge necessary to prepare students for college and career. Florida has also made available objective information regarding impact of teachers on student learning and has raised the bar on its teacher preparation programs’ accountability system.

  • Florida’s accountability system highlights the areas in which districts are earning high marks, as well as where there is room for significant improvement. Using this information, the Florida Department of Education offers additional support and services, and the State Board of Education has the authority to direct administrators to implement student-focused changes.

  • Florida statute outlines the steps school districts must take when one or more schools earn a D or F, and these policies have gotten increasingly stringent in recent years. The State Board of Education has made it abundantly clear that it will honor its responsibility to all Florida’s students. By ensuring there is a focus on low-performing schools, Florida is taking every step possible to make sure all Florida students have access to the public education system they deserve.

For more information about Florida’s 2017 NAEP, visit The Nation‘s Report Card.


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