The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data released today show mixed results nationally while Florida led the nation with strong improvements.

“By remaining focused for two decades on early reading, accountability for schools, rewarding great teachers and empowering parents with more education options, Florida remains a role model for other states in raising student achievement. Today’s results also underscore we have so much farther to go as a nation in providing a quality education to every student, ” said Governor Jeb Bush, Founder and Chairman of the Foundation for Florida’s Future.

The 2017 National Public Average did not change from 2015 for 4th grade reading, decreased for 4th grade math and increased for 8th grade reading and math.

However, Florida bucked that national trend and is the only state to have improved in 4th and 8th grade reading and math scores.

“These results confirm that Florida is moving in the right direction, but we cannot rest until each child is prepared to succeed. We need to do more for all students, especially those in traditionally underserved areas including minority and low-income families. A strong education that prepares students for success in school and in careers remains the best way to lift families and our nation toward success,” said Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of the Foundation for Florida’s Future.

“Today’s NAEP results confirm that our students succeed when Florida maintains high standards and transparency,” said Rep. Manny Diaz. “I’m proud of our students, teachers, and principals for rising to the challenge and exceeding expectations.”

“Improved reading results in the Sunshine State are the result of strong leadership from Florida’s policymakers and incredible work performed each and every day by teachers and families across the state,” said Vance Aloupis, CEO of The Children’s Movement of Florida. “We will continue working to ensure every child has the ability to pursue success in the classroom and in everyday life.”

“Florida needs a world-class educational system to ensure long-term economic growth and the vitality of our state in an ever-changing business climate. Today’s news shows Florida is on the right path, but that success is never final. We are fortunate to have had decades of strong leadership committed to not only improving academic outcomes but maintaining that focus to help every child find success in school and in life,” said Bob Ward, President of the Florida Council of 100.

“Florida will add almost six million residents by 2030, creating the need for two million more jobs by the time many of today’s kindergartners look to join the workforce. Today’s results show that Florida continues to be a national model in boldly seizing innovative policies to ensure today’s learners are best prepared to be tomorrow’s earners in the new global economy,” said Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

“NAEP is a critical tool that helps us benchmark student outcomes across the country and we are proud of the progress demonstrated in Florida by the latest results, particularly the statistical academic gains made by student subgroups, including Black, Hispanic and low-income students. These improvements underscore our students’ potential and are an encouraging indicator that we are on the right track. We will leverage learnings to inform our continued collective efforts to ensure that every student has equal access to an excellent education,” said Sam Hoare, executive director of Teach For America Miami-Dade.

Release of the 2017 NAEP results is occurring after a full transition to “digitally based assessments.”  After more than 15 years of piloting and studying the impact of online NAEP items and testing, students joined the 21st century and took the test on tablets with attached keyboards rather than with paper and pencil for the first time.

“The results provide a strong signal that states must focus on narrowing the digital divide to ensure all students are prepared for the technology rich world in which we live. Florida had previously been a leader in the important move to integrate technology into the classrooms. Hopefully, the Legislature will consider reversing recent actions that take us backwards,” said Levesque.