Our education revolution leads Florida and the nation to a better tomorrow!
When former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush entered office in 1999, he immediately began his mission to reform the state’s education system. Fast forward 13 years later, Education Next has recently ranked Florida second for improving test-score performance annually at a growth rate of 3.2 percent of standard deviation.
This study also revealed that Florida ranks first in the United States when it comes to the annual growth rate in fourth grade student’s achievement in math and reading.
Education Next worked along with Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance to research findings from 1992 to 2011 in four assessments of performance in math, science and reading. One of these assessments is the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), issued by the U.S. Department of Education, and the others are assessments from international organizations.
“This news is exciting for the State of Florida and should be a message for other states to make education reform a priority for the good of this great nation,” said Julio Fuentes, President of Hispanic CREO.
The past 13 years, Florida has initiated several programs to improve academic achievement such as active charter school programs, virtual school programs, genuine alternative teacher certification paths, Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program and many others.
“By giving parents choice, Florida has given children a chance to obtain access to quality education, which is not only a civil right but a mandate under Article 26 of the Declaration of Fundamental Human Rights by the United Nations,” said Lazaro Mur, Chairman of Hispanic CREO.
The education reform movement that began in 1999 is now placing Florida as a leader for our country’s future. However, what does this mean for Hispanic students?
Considering NAEP scores, Hispanic students in Florida too have improved academically. In 2009, Hispanic students in Florida had the second-highest reading score in the nation. They outscored or tied the statewide averages for all students in 31 states.
According to the Foundation for Educational Choice, “the so-called ‘achievement gap’ is narrowing in Florida, with Hispanic children making even greater progress than their white peers on the NAEP test.”
“Hispanics are the youngest, fastest growing and most entrepreneurial sector of our population. There’s no greater means for attaining the American Dream then a quality education,” said Mur. “Poverty and misery are the result of illiteracy and only education can break the chain.”
Florida’s fascinating improvement within education over the years leaves the state competitive not only nationally, but globally as well. However, there is more work to be done. Across this nation more than half of Hispanic students will not graduate from high school due to circumstances beyond their control.
Over six million Hispanic students are at risk today or not graduating and we need to work together to change that.