Florida’s Middle Grades Study of how to improve math achievement should add Indiana, Tennessee and Texas

On Friday, Governor Scott signed HB 293, a bill that authorizes a $50,000 study of states that perform at a relatively high level in middle school math and reading, as measured by the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress.  In math, the states named as models are Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Washington.

The FLDOE should add Indiana, Tennessee and Texas to the math study.

The graph below shows why.  It graphs the percentage of students earning “proficient” or above on 2015 NAEP 8th grade math exam against the percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch in 2013-14.  The latter parameter is a rough measure of economic health of a state’s K-12 students.

Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Washington (shown as blue diamonds) are all affluent states.  Florida (the green triangle) is not.

The three states shown as red squares (left to right – Indiana, Tennessee and Texas) should be added to the study.  They do better than Florida in middle school math while having socioeconomic situations much closer to that in Florida.

middlegrades_model

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