Middle School Performance Study

This legislation (SB 360 by Sen. Kelli Stargel and HB 293 by Rep. Colleen Burton) will require a study to investigate what other states are doing to increase learning gains in middle school.


Florida is a national leader in overall student achievement. Yet since 2013, the percent of middle school students proficient in reading and mathematics has remained flat or decreased. Understanding this trend is critical to reversing it—and ensuring that Florida continues its progress in preparing all students for success.

The dip in academic achievement for middle school students is an issue for many states. Often referred to as the “Middle School Slump,” many students who were previously excited about school begin to lose interest and focus.

Examining what other high-performing states are doing for middle schoolers can be helpful. Florida’s students need to be prepared with 21st-century knowledge and skills, which are key to success in today’s global economy. It is imperative that Florida’s 8th graders exceed the national average on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)in both reading and mathematics.

Bill Summary:

This forward-looking bill requires the Commissioner of Education to:

  • Conduct a comprehensive study on middle school performance;
  • Review the best practices of high-performing states, identified by their performance on NAEP;
  • Review state-level policies and strategies that make those states effective; and
  • Provide a report on findings and recommendations to the Legislature by December 2017.