Twenty years ago, Florida’s low-income children had nearly the lowest achievement in the nation. But the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress, or the NAEP, shows that they are ranked first in the nation for scaled score and for the percentage of students proficient in fourth-grade reading and math.
Moreover, Florida’s low-income fourth graders now have a reading score the same as or better than 11 states’ average score for all students.
These students’ monumental achievement refutes the idea that higher spending is needed to improve achievement. Florida notched these impressive gains while spending about $4,000 per pupil less than the national average. Under the leadership of Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida implemented a package of reforms focused on school choice, transparency, and accountability.