I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Florida Ranks Among the Top States in the 2009 Edition of Education Week's Quality Counts Survey

Florida ranks #10 overall, according to the 13th annual Quality Counts survey compiled by Education Week and released today. Florida tied with Vermont at a score of 79.4, only 5.3 points behind the leading state's score. (The top scoring state on the list is Maryland, with a score of 84.7, the lowest score is Washington D.C. with a score of 68.3)

The Education Week survey was compiled utilizing data from individual state surveys by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, The National Center For Education Statistics, the National Assessment of Educational Progress as well as numerous other data sources.

Here's a link to the survey, it is in a table that allows the data to be sorted and compared to other states:

Florida Highlights:

---Florida ranked #7 of 51 in K-12 "Achievement"

---Florida ranked #12 of 51 in "Standards, Assessments, and Accountability"

---Florida ranked #4 of 51 in "Teacher Profession" (?)

I read and re-read the sections of this survey that talked about methodology, but was unsuccessful in deciphering the exact logic used to arrive at these numbers. Perhaps I overlooked the important stuff, and the numbers and rubrics are not as intricate as I think; Maybe this data drop is a set piece of union idiological outcomes and maybe it's not, but trying to reverse-engineer the data for me became a headache and almost an attempt to replicate Andrew Wiles' correct proof of "Fermat's Last Theorem." Not really, but it's a complex read.

Here's a link to the methodology:

My big takeaway from this survey is that our state of Florida is making some great progress, -- doing fantastic actually-- when compared to some other states that are spending a lot more on Education than we are. As a matter of fact, this survey gives florida an "F" in School finance "spending." ( Florida ranks 40th out of 51 total in this category) But ranking ahead of 38 states in achievement, with most of those 38 states having spent a lot more money on education than Florida, is a testament to how effectively and efficiently our state is utilizing taxpayer dollars on education. (Wyoming earned an "A" in spending on this survey but placed 33rd in overall achievement, 21 places below Florida. Rhode Island earned an "A" in spending and placed 28th in overall achievement, 16 places below Florida.)

High dollar spending by states does not necessarily equal proportionate positive results in Educational Achievement.

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