Published Online: January 3, 2006

Florida's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 3,427
Public school teachers 144,955
Pre-K-12 students 2,587,628
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $16.4 billion
Minority students 48.7%
Children in poverty 18%
Students with disabilities 15.5%
English-language learners 8%

Summary of Grades

Florida scores above the national average on two of four graded categories of education policy in Quality Counts and slightly below the national average on the other two categories.

The state scores very well on measures related to standards and accountability, ranking near the top of the nation. Florida has a particularly strong showing for accountability indicators. The state sanctions and provides assistance to all low-performing schools (not just those that receive federal Title I money), and provides rewards to high-performing or improving schools.

Florida does not do as well in teacher quality, falling below the national average. The state loses points in this category because it does not require all prospective high school or middle school teachers to have a major, minor, or equivalent coursework in the subjects they will teach in order to receive a beginning-teacher license.

Florida also performs slightly below the average state on measures of school climate. In particular, the state struggles on school size indicators. The percentage of students in Florida attending smaller schools is far below the national average. The state’s average class size in elementary schools also exceeds the national average.

The state scores slightly above average in resource equity. Its score for the coefficient of variation is among the best in the nation, indicating a low level of disparity in per pupil funding levels across the districts in the state.

State Policy Report Card
Florida Avg. State Score
Standards and accountability A B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality C C+
School climate C C+
Resource equity B- C
Overall Grade B- C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 37.92 40
Assessment 26.25 30
School accountability 30 30
94 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 25.46 35
Teacher assessment 21.3 30
Professional support and training 14.55 20
Accountability for teacher quality 13.65 15
75 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 10 15
School safety 16.25 20
Parent involvement 8.7 15
Choice and autonomy 16 20
Class size 7.89 10
School size 5 10
School facilities 10 10
74 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 24 33.3
McLoone Index 28.33 33.3
Coefficient of variation 28.33 33.3
81 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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