TALLAHASSEE — Florida's on top of the world when it comes to reading.
The state's fourth-grade reading scores last year were slightly behind Hong Kong's, but an international study released Tuesday concluded their results were not measurably different.
"No education system scored higher than Florida," it states.
Florida's 2011 fourth- and eighth-graders also scored above the global average in math and science and on par with the rest of the United States.
The National Center for Education Statistics released both studies. They show U.S. students as a whole performed better than the global average in all three subjects but still lagged behind many other Asian and European countries.
State-level results were available for Florida in fourth-grade reading, Florida and North Carolina in fourth-grade math and science, and nine states in eighth-grade math and science, the National Center for Education Statistics said.
"For families to benefit from the expanding global economy, Florida students must compete and succeed with students internationally," Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement. "This report is great news for Florida."
Florida's overall fourth-grade reading score was 569, just two points behind Hong Kong, a former British colony that's now part of China. Finland, Russia and Singapore also were rated similarly.
Forty-seven school systems outside the United States scored lower than Florida including Canada, Germany, Israel, Sweden, Denmark, Chinese Taipei, Great Britain and France.
In math, Florida's fourth-graders last year ranked ninth among 57 school systems, behind Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Northern Ireland, North Carolina and Belgium. Florida's 545 score was well above international average of 500 and topped the overall U.S. score by four points.
Florida's eighth-grade math score was 513, also topping the U.S. average by four points and the international average by 13 points. The state ranked 16th out of 56 participating school systems.
In science, Florida's fourth-graders also had a score of 545. That beat the overall U.S. score by 10 points and the international average by 45 points. Florida ranked seventh behind South Korea, Singapore, Finland, Japan, Chinese Taipei and Russia.
Florida's eighth-graders finished 17th with a score of 530, topping the U.S. average by five points and the international marker by 30.