The United States now ranks 31st among 35 industrialized nations tested on the math section of PISA, the OECD test of 15-year-olds. The 2015 PISA results were released this morning.
Florida’s 8th graders scored far below the national average on the math section of the 2015 NAEP Assessment. Those results were released last year.
The conclusion? Florida – or more precisely Florida’s students – are in deep trouble when it comes to competing for good 21st century jobs, which more and more require strong math skills.
The bottom line? First, Florida’s educational leaders need to acknowledge that the state’s level of student achievement in middle and high school math is an urgent issue. Once that is done, Florida needs to do whatever it takes to attract more strong math students to math teaching. Redirecting some of the money from the Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship Program to an effort to attract and retain strong math teachers is one way this situation could be addressed.