The results of the 2013 NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment released yesterday (and discussed on redefinEDonline.org) show at a glance that two of Florida’s behemoth urban districts – Hillsborough and Miami-Dade – do very well in comparison with other urban districts around the nation.
But an analysis with SNAP – the Socioeconomic NAEP Achievement Parameter developed here and noted by the Florida Association of District School Superintendents and School Zone – shows that the two Florida districts aren’t just leading urban districts. If these two school systems were states they would be the nation’s leaders in demographic-adjusted student achievement. And in some cases it wouldn’t be close.
Take fourth grade reading, the pride of the State of Florida. Florida leads the nation with a SNAP score of 89, with Kentucky and the District of Columbia tied for second at 85. Hillsborough County, with a free and reduced lunch eligibility rate of 58%, leads both with a SNAP score of 95. But Miami-Dade (free-reduced lunch rate of 74%) blows everybody away in fourth grade reading with an outrageous SNAP score of 135.
The eighth grade reading story is not terribly different. Kentucky leads the nation with a SNAP score of 88, and Hillsborough is not far behind at 83 (the second place state is Arkansas at 76, and Florida is tied for third at 75). But Miami-Dade again blows the rest of the nation away with a SNAP score of 104.
Now to math. At the fourth grade level, DC leads the states with an apparently ridiculously strong score of 104. Arkansas is not far behind at 99, while Florida ties for ninth at 91. Hillsborough’s score of 102 places it just behind DC, but ahead of Arkansas. But Miami-Dade is far ahead with 135.
Eighth grade math is Florida’s Achilles heel. Our state is tied for 12th among the states in this subject with a SNAP score of 70. Massachusetts leads the states with a score of 82, while Kansas (yes, Kansas) holds second place at 78. Massachusetts is unbeatable, right? Not so fast – Hillsborough leads them with a score of 83. And Miami-Dade? Well, I’m glad you asked. The Miami-Dade score is 92. I guess Massachusetts can be beaten – given focus and resources.
Hillsborough and Miami-Dade are doing something right. Now we just have to bottle it and export it to the rest of Florida.