Oct 26, 2022 - News

Nation's Report Card yields mixed results in Florida

Illustration of a calculator with downward arrows flashing on the screen.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

A large majority of Florida students were unable to reach proficiency in reading and math in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), aka the Nation's Report Card, released Monday.

Driving the news: Florida students' scores dipped from 2019 in three out of four achievement measures: eighth-grade reading and math and fourth-grade math.

  • Still, Gov. Ron DeSantis and state education officials touted that Florida students this year ranked third in the nation in Grade 4 reading and fourth in Grade 4 mathematics, which the governor says serves as proof that keeping schools open during the COVID pandemic paid off.

The big picture: This year had the largest math declines ever recorded for fourth- and eighth-graders across the country, Axios' Noah Bressner reports.

  • Math scores declined for those grades in nearly every state and district between 2019 and 2022.
  • During those years, reading scores also fell in most states.
Data: The Nation's Report Card; Chart: Axios Visuals

What they're saying: Former Gov. Jeb Bush, who chairs education think tank ExcelinEd, said the national results signal that "the system failed our nation's children."

The nonprofit made recommendations to policymakers to help improve students' reading and math skills, including:

  • Installing literacy coaches at every elementary and middle school.
  • Establishing literacy screening in grades K-3 and providing intervention for students struggling to read.
  • Providing students who fall behind with more time and personalized math support, including access two to three times a week to high-impact tutoring. 

Anthony Rolle, dean of University of South Florida's College of Education, told Axios that improving education is more complex than just offering supplemental resources, pointing to the national teacher shortage.

  • "All these policies and procedures will not be as successful if we do not also take opportunities to manage levels of stress that have been caused by COVID, the economy and the potential for a recession that have occurred over the last three years," Rolle said.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Tampa Bay.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Tampa Bay stories

No stories could be found

Tampa Baypostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Tampa Bay.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more