Florida schools are back in the top ten nationally after dropping out of the ranking last year, according to data compiled from the Education Week Quality Counts report. Florida earned a "B-minus", while nationally, schools earned a "C-plus".
Many state leaders are praising the progress but acknowledge more work needs to be done. K-12 Chancellor Pam Stewart says "We've moved up and from eleventh place to sixth place; from a 'C-plus' last year to a 'B-minus' this year".
Florida received two A's in the report. The first was for doing a good job getting kids into Pre-K and kindergarten. The second "A" was nonacademic -- it was based on how well the state measures student progress.
Florida received high marks for closing the gap on math scores for the poverty disadvantaged. However, overall achievement gains got just a "C-minus", and it was AP or advanced class performance that saved the state from a worse ranking.
Florida teachers also received high marks, ranking 4th in the nation, earning a "B". Nationally, the teaching profession earned just a "C".
"We've got good teachers," says Mark Pudlow of the Florida Education Association. "We have to pay them well. We have to provide more in the classroom instead of cutting budgets like we've been doing for the last five years".
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