Special Report
School & District Management

Florida Earns a C on State Report Card, Ranks 26th in Nation

January 17, 2018 3 min read

The 22nd annual edition of Quality Counts continues Education Week’s long-standing tradition of grading the states on their performance. A state’s overall grade is the average of its scores on the three separate indices tracked by the report.

State Overview

This year, Florida finishes 26th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, with an overall score of 74.2 out of 100 points and a grade of C. The nation as a whole posts a grade of C.

Diving into the findings for the three graded indices, Florida earns a C in the Chance-for-Success category and ranks 35th. The average state earns a C-plus. In School Finance, Florida receives a D-plus and ranks 39th. For the K-12 Achievement Index, it finishes fourth with a grade of C-plus. The average state earns grades of C in School Finance and K-12 Achievement. More details on results in these categories are reported below.

Chance for Success

The Education Week Research Center developed the Chance-for-Success Index to better understand the role that education plays in promoting positive outcomes across an individual’s lifetime. Based on an original state-by-state analysis, this index combines information from 13 indicators that span a person’s life from cradle to career. Those indicators fall into three sub-sections: early foundations, school years, and adult outcomes.

For early foundations, which examines factors that help children get off to a good start, Florida earns a grade of C-plus and ranks 42nd. The average state posts a B-minus.

Florida receives a C-plus for the school years, a sub-category focusing on metrics related to pre-K enrollment through postsecondary participation. It finishes 26th in the nation in this area. By comparison, the nation as a whole earns a C-plus.

In the area of adult outcomes, based on postsecondary educational attainment and workforce indicators, Florida’s grade is a C. It ranks 45th in the nation. The national average is a C-plus.

School Finance

The school finance analysis examines two critical aspects of school spending. Of the eight indicators in this category, four assess school spending patterns, while the remaining metrics gauge equity in the distribution of funding across the districts within each state.

Across the spending indicators, Florida finishes with an F compared with a national average of D-minus. Florida ranks 44th in the nation in this area.

On the equity measures, Florida receives an A-minus, which places it first in the national rankings. The nation as a whole earns a B.

K-12 Achievement

The K-12 Achievement Index examines 18 distinct achievement measures related to reading and math performance, high school graduation rates, and the results of Advanced Placement exams. The index assigns equal weight to current levels of performance and changes over time. It also places an emphasis on equity, by examining both poverty-based achievement gaps and progress in closing those gaps.

Indicators in the index can be broken down into three sub-categories: status, change, and equity.

Measures in the status sub-category evaluate a state’s current performance. Florida receives a C-minus in this area and ranks 20th in the nation. The average state earns a D-plus.

The change sub-category examines a state’s improvement over time. In this area, Florida posts a C-plus and ranks fifth. The national average is a C-minus.

In the equity sub-section, states are graded based on achievement gaps between low-income students and their more affluent peers. Florida’s grade on those poverty-gap measures stands at an A-minus. Nationally, it ranks fourth in this area. The nation as a whole receives a B.

View more 2018 reports on states and the nation >
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