Florida DOE: Hooray for Florida schools!
Despite all the gloom and doom about budget cuts, Florida schools had a rockin' good year in 2009, the Florida Department of Education said in a gushing press release this morning.
The press release lists rising FCAT scores, rising graduation rates and rising numbers of schools with A or improving grades. But if you're not inclined to think much of the state's own stats, the release noted kudos from out of state, too.
* A No. 10 ranking among states in Education Week's annual Quality Counts report.
* A report from the National Center for Education Statistics that found Florida was one of only a few states to narrow long-term achievement gaps between black and white students in reading and math.
* A 13.7 percent increase in the number of passed AP exams, compared to a nationwide increase of 9.4 percent.
Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith congratulated "all stakeholders" and then threw in a big plug for Race to the Top: "Should we be successful in our efforts to obtain these unprecedented resources (from RTTT), the next four years could revolutionize how we nurture, prepare and inspire the young minds that will one day inherit our great nation."