Florida gets mixed rating in annual Quality Counts report
Florida officials on Thursday cheered the release of Education Week's annual Quality Counts report, which again gives the Sunshine State high marks in several key areas.
The state ranked seventh in the publication's list for K-12 achievement, up from 12th a year ago. Within that category, Florida earned an A- for equity, a C+ for change and a D+ for status. (See notes and explanations here.) Notably, Florida did well in this area despite having higher rates of poverty than the states it's closest to, including Vermont, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.
Florida ranked 32nd, below the national average, in the category of chance for success, which includes such issues as early education foundations and adult outcomes. It also ranked 36th, again below the national average but up from last year's 39th place, in school finance, with an A- for equity and an F for spending. Last year, Florida DOE officials challenged Education Week's evaluation of the state's financial picture, calling for an efficiency measure.
The publication did not update its rankings in its other categories, in which Florida has received strong marks in the past.
State leaders have regularly used the Quality Counts report as an indicator of Florida's successes in improving education for students. After years of being a national laggard, Florida recently has remained among the top achievers in this assessment.
"Today's news that Florida jumped to 7th nationwide in K-12 achievement is the result of great work by our teachers," Gov. Rick Scott said in a release. "Florida families depend on an education system that provides every student with a quality education, and that's why in our last budget we fought to provide our teachers with a pay raise and secured more than $1 billion in additional investments for K-12 education."