Florida has started to turn around its student learning in middle school math, according to results from the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released today (coverage from the Orlando Sentinel here).
The state’s 8th grade math results, which plunged in 2015, began the process of making up ground lost on the 2017 exam. Florida was one of only two states in which the 8th grade math scale score increased significantly.
The plot below shows the percentages of 8th graders – for both Florida and the nation – who tested proficient or better on the NAEP math exam in 2013, 2015 and 2017. The plot provides some context for the gains Florida experienced in 2017.
To Florida’s teachers, counselors and educational leaders: Congratulations for the progress shown on the 2017 NAEP assessment. There is a great deal more work to do, of course. But you give the state more than we deserve. Thank you.
Update (Tuesday afternoon): The National Center for Teacher Quality reported in a tweet this morning that Commissioner Stewart mentioned that Florida’s teacher certification tests have become more challenging during the last several years. She said this contributed to the improvement in NAEP scores. FLDOE toughened the exam for the standard middle grades math teaching certification in 2014, causing the passing rate to drop from 75% in 2013 to 54% in 2014. The passing rate has stayed just above 50% since then.