Celebrating Florida’s Literacy!

Just a few years ago, Florida was one of the worst reading states in the nation. Today, our students are internationally-recognized leaders in literacy. This impressive growth began over a decade ago when Florida leaders placed a command focus on reading and the state passed a series of comprehensive education reforms. “Just Read, Florida!’’ continues every day in classrooms across the state thanks to the excellent work of our teachers.

A Model on the Nation’s Report Card

According to the Nation’s Report Card, Florida fourth graders were more than a half-grade level behind their national peers in the 1990s. Now they are a half-grade level ahead. This advance is led by our minority, low-income and learning-disabled students.

Florida’s African-American readers outperformed their peers by more than half a grade level and Hispanic readers outperformed their fourth-grade peers by almost two full grade levels on the 2013 Nation’s Report Card. Our students with disabilities are national leaders in reading gains. And in fourth-grade and eighth-grade reading, the academic improvement of Florida students is twice as high as that of students nationwide.

These high marks helped Florida improve its national K-12 achievement ranking to seventh in the country on the 2014 Quality Counts report by Education Week.

See Florida students’ 2013 Nation’s Report Card scores in reading:

PIRLS – From the Bottom of the Nation to the Top of the World

On the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), Florida had its test scores evaluated as if we were a separate country. Our fourth graders not only outperformed the American average, their scores were comparable to traditional world leaders such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Finland.

This is despite the fact that 56 percent of Florida students are low-income and 57 percent are minority, both higher than the national average. Twenty-two percent of Florida kids read at an advanced level on PIRLS compared to 17 percent in the rest of America and 8 percent in the rest of the world.

What YOU Can Do:

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