Education

Florida is failing public schools

When it comes to supporting public schools, the state of Florida is a colossal failure.

In a report card issued by the Network for Public Education, Florida earned an F for the support it provides for education.

The NPE, a nonprofit group, was co-founded by education historian and activist Diane Ravitch to advocate for America’s public school system.

States were judged on criteria seen as promoting a professional teacher force, equitable and sufficient funding and equal opportunities for all students to succeed — all things considered vitally important to the health and success of public schools.

The bad news is that Florida wasn’t alone.

Seven other states — including Georgia and Mississippi — received failing grades for their public school support.

The best overall grade was a C, with the rest of the 50 states earning D’s or F’s.

GPA_Chart

Washington Post education writer Valerie Strauss in a blog post writes:

Specifically, the reports looks at how states approach high-stakes standardized testing and school finance as well as how much they promote teachers as professionals and resist privatizing public education. How states spend taxpayer money is another criterion, as is whether states promote policies that affect the income, living conditions and governmental support for students to give them all a chance to succeed in school. Some states earned A’s in a category or two but none earned higher than an overall C.  You can see the breakdown below.

The report says that state policies and laws enacted since the beginning of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002 have “taken a toll on our public schools.”

Below is a chart showing the state grades by subject:

GPA_chart2

In summary, the report issues a clarion call:

“We hope that citizens of each state reflect on the areas where their state needs to improve, and promote those reforms that will result in a better grade next year.

Here are state overall grades as well as state grades by each of the six criteria. You can find an interactive map with the results here.

Here’s the full report that explains the criteria in depth as well as the report’s methodology.