Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida students make gains on national reading test

Florida is among nine states whose eighth-graders made increases on a closely watched national reading test last year, and Florida fourth-graders now trail peers in only six other states, according to scores released this morning.

In 2009, Florida's eighth-graders bested the national average in reading for the first time, with 76 percent reading at a basic level or above, up from 71 percent in 2007, according to the latest results from the National Assessment of Education Progress.

The NAEP test is often called "the nation's report card" and is widely considered a credible measure of a state's academic performance. The NAEP reading test is given to a representative sample of fourth- and eighth-graders in all 50 states every other year.

The percentage of Florida fourth-graders reading at basic level or above also increased since 2007, from 70 to 73 percent, but the change is not considered statistically significant. Nonetheless, Florida now trails only Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont and Virginia in fourth-grade reading (though it's tied at that spot with five other states). In 1998, Florida fourth-graders ranked near the bottom nationally.

The nation's progress since 2007 mirrored Florida's, with stagnation in fourth grade (67 percent scored at basic or above, the same as in 2007) and a slight uptick in eighth grade (74 percent to 75 percent).

"While 4th-graders haven't shown continued progress in reading from 2007, it is encouraging to see 8th-graders making gains," David P. Driscoll, chair of the national board that sets NAEP policy, said in a statement. "And it should be noted that 8th-grade students performing in the lower percentiles had higher scores, which suggests that many students who need the most help are making progress."

Florida students make gains on national reading test 03/24/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 3:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Top 5 at noon: Out of sight, out of mind: a Times investigation; PolitiFact: what's at stake in the tax debate? and more


    Here are the latest headlines and updates on

    Aaron Richardson Jr. talks to voices in his head at his father's bail bond business in St. Petersburg. Richardson has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |   TIMES]
  2. It's not a game, but the names are all the same in this football family


    TAMPA — A coach yells across the field into a scrum of blue-and-white clad football bodies at Jefferson High: "Kim Mitchell! Kim Mitchell, come here!"

    These twins are not only identical, but they have almost identical names. Kim Mitchell III, left, and Kim Mitchell IV are  talented football players at Jefferson High with Division I-A college offers. Kim  III wears No. 22 and plays cornerback while Kim IV wears No. 11 and plays safety. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)
  3. Did Hurricane Irma speed the end of Florida orange juice?


    Hurricane Irma plundered Florida's orange belt, leaving a trail of uprooted trees, downed fruit and flooded groves worse than anything growers say they have seen in more than 20 years.

    A large number of oranges lie on the ground at the Story Grove orange grove in the wake of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 13, 2017, in Lake Wales. [Photo by Brian Blanco | Getty Images]
  4. Merriam-Webster nods to foodie culture with these 11 terms it just added to the dictionary


    Joining "troll" (as in, a rude person on the Internet, not a bridge-dwelling creature), "alt-right" and "dog whistle," 11 food-related words were added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary this week. That's out of 250 new terms, a pretty good ratio that signals the ongoing shift toward a more food-obsessed culture, one …

    IPA is one of the words recently added to the dictionary.
  5. Largo's property tax rate to rise

    Local Government

    LARGO — City commissioners on Tuesday approved a higher property tax rate for next year.

    Largo Mayor Woody Brown favored a smaller tax increase than some other commissioners.