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A Times Editorial

Education cuts felt in test results

Education isn't free. And the failure to spend enough on public education can be expensive, indeed. Stagnating test scores for Florida students on a nationally important test illustrate what happens when education funding drops. And the same politicians who have lauded Florida's educational progress over the past decade need to step up and be heard now that the results are not so rosy.

Results for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the so-called "nation's report card," show that Florida's students have basically plateaued since 2007. (A representative sample of fourth- and eighth-graders is tested in math and reading every two years.) Not coincidentally, state funding for education per pupil has dropped from $7,126 to $6,268 during that same time.

Whatever the limits of standardized testing, this is terrible news for Florida and its schoolchildren. The loss of reading coaches, the increasing pressures on classroom teachers and a focus on budget cuts have combined to hurt the state's students. These test results are in, but it's not too late for state lawmakers to do better on the final exam. With the threat of even more education cuts looming during this coming legislative session, are lawmakers willing to stand up for public education and increase funding for a better future?

Education cuts felt in test results 11/03/11 [Last modified: Thursday, November 3, 2011 6:01pm]
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