Academic Achievement

Despite improvement since our last report, student performance in Florida is average. The percentage of 4th and 8th grade students who score at or above the proficient level on the NAEP math exam is just below the national average of 42% and 34%, respectively.

Academic Achievement for Low-Income and Minority Students

Florida earns a very high grade on academic achievement for low-income and minority students. Thirty-six percent of Hispanic 4th graders score at or above the proficient level on both the NAEP math and reading exams. The national average is 26% for math and 20% for reading. 

Return on Investment

Student achievement in Florida is high relative to state spending after controlling for cost of living. 

Truth in Advertising: Student Proficiency

Florida posts average marks on the credibility of its student proficiency scores. The grade is based on the difference between the percentage of students identified as proficient in reading and math on the 2011 state exams and the percentage identified as proficient on the 2011 NAEP reading and math tests.

Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness

Florida earns an average grade preparing its students for college and careers. While 27 students out of 100 pass an AP exam, the state’s high school graduation rate is 6 percentage points below the national average. 

21st Century Teacher Force

Florida does a good job of creating a strong teacher workforce. The Sunshine State is adept at identifying and retaining effective teachers. 

Parental Options

Florida does an excellent job providing parents with good school choice options. The state has a strong charter school law and provides an array of school choice options for students. 

Data Quality

Florida earns an excellent grade collecting and reporting high-quality education data. The state provides funding for a longitudinal data system and works to build stakeholder access.


Florida receives a very good grade employing technology to provide quality instruction and personalized learning. Students have access to high-quality digital learning options, and the state provides full funding for students to use digital providers. 

International Competitiveness

Florida earns a mediocre grade preparing its students to compete in a global economy. Only 28% of students are proficient in reading and math compared with an international standard. 

Fiscal Responsibility

Florida receives low marks on fiscal responsibility. While 82% of the state’s pension is funded, its most recent pension contribution was only 59%.