While Florida prides itself on student progress on the FCAT, when it comes to national reports, educational achievement is stagnant. Lynn Hatter reports that's one of the reasons why Ed Week Magazine dropped the state to 11th in terms of education quality. That's seven spots down from its record fifth place finish last year. The report also cites a drop in state education spending.
The drop in rank is a blow to state leaders who have pointed to the state's steady climb as evidence that school reforms have been working and fodder for Democrats, who have long complained about the state's focus on testing. Representative Dwight Bullard, a Miami Democrat, says the drop in the state's ranking should serve as a wake-up call and that lawmakers should get serious and increase funding for schools.
"The slip to number 11 is an eerie indicator of what the future holds when the new scores come out. It's very hard to maintain a high echelon of educational performance if we're not going to be truly committed."
The report is based on data from 2009 and reflects steep cuts in state funding. Governor Rick Scott wants to put a billion dollars back in the education budget this year. He says the state needs to make sure it's looking at the right benchmarks.