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Gov. Rick Scott on Florida's education ranking: 'I'm confident we will continue to improve'



Florida Gov. Rick Scott offered a two-sentence statement this morning in response to the latest Education Week Quality Counts report, which shows Florida falling from No. 5 to No. 11 in state rankings. "Florida's education system ranks among the best in the nation, but we still face some challenges," said the statement, released by the Department of Education. "I'm confident we will continue to improve."

The press release also included two quotes from Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. The first credits Scott's budget proposal for recommending "additional investment in a high-quality education." The second says he's pleased that Ed Week gave Florida high marks in the teaching profession and accountability categories.

Here is the press release in full:

FLORIDA RANKS 11 IN 2012 Quality Counts REPORT
– Annual report ranks Florida high in teaching profession and accountability. –
The results in Education Week’s Quality Counts 2012: The Global Challenge – Education in a Competitive World released today ranks Florida eleventh in the nation overall. The report gives high marks to Florida in both the Standards, Assessments, and Accountability category and the Teaching Profession category.  The data used to derive the financial ranking dates back to 2009 and reflects the impact of the economic downturn on spending for education from that year.
“Florida’s education system ranks among the best in the nation, but we still face some challenges.  I’m confident we will continue to improve,” said Governor Rick Scott.  
Similar to previous years, the 2012 edition of the report grades states based on their policies and performance in six main education areas: Chance for Success; K-12 Achievement; Standards, Assessments, and Accountability; The Teaching Profession; School Finance Analysis; and Transitions and Alignment. This year’s report updates scores in five of the areas, but does not update Transitions and Alignment. State rankings are based on the average score for all six categories. Florida scored an overall grade of “C+.”
“Floridians truly believe that support for education is the most significant thing we can do to ensure both short-term job growth and long-term economic prosperity for our state,” said Gov. Scott in his State of the State Address on Tuesday. “My recommended budget includes $1 billion in new state funding for education.”
Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson said that the Governor’s budget recommendations come at an important time.
“We know that our educational system has been strained by the economic downturn,” said Commissioner Robinson. “The additional investment in a high-quality education will not show up immediately, but it will be a factor in our success as we move forward.”
Robinson added that he was pleased with the state’s standing in the areas of the teaching profession and accountability.
“Florida is a leader when it comes to education reform. That’s evident in our ‘A’ grade in the accountability area. We are a model for other states when it comes to using high quality metrics to help guide instruction and inform policy. In fact, we’re one of only 10 states that have the ability to link teachers and student performance,” he said.
Highlights of the 2012 report include
•       Florida earned an “A” in the Standards, Assessments and Accountability category and ranked fifth in the nation.
•       Florida is one of 10 states to have the capability to link teachers and their student performance data back to teacher education programs.
•       Florida is among 29 states to have used education data from international models to shape reform policies.
•       Florida ranked first on the equity measure that looks at differences between average per pupil spending among districts at the 95th and fifth percentiles.
•       Florida is second in the nation in the equal distribution of funds amongst its school districts.
•       Florida ranks fourth in the nation with a “B” in The Teaching Profession category.
•       Florida earned points for increasing its graduation index by 14 percentage points from 2000 to 2008. 
•       Advanced Placement achievement and improvement points increased in this year’s analysis. Florida was the fourth highest state in the percent of students who scored “3” or higher on AP tests and third highest for the percentage of increase in successful AP testers.
To view more details about Florida’s performance on the 2012 Quality Counts report, visit

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