Florida Students Show Gains in Reading and Math Proficiency Rates on 2017 NAEP Test

Author: Helios Education Foundation

April 12, 2018

After a delay due to a transition from paper-and-pencil to digital testing, highly anticipated 2017 NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) scores were released on Tuesday. Overall, Florida showed gains compared to the mostly negative and stagnant trends of the state’s prior testing results in 2015. Despite this progress, scores indicate much work remains, such as closing achievement gaps between White students and their minority peers. 

“We applaud education leaders and classroom teachers throughout the state for the progress made since 2015,” said Charles Hokanson, Senior Vice President for Florida Community Engagement, Helios Education Foundation. “While we should continue to strive to ensure all students – particularly first generation, minority, and underrepresented students reach proficiency in math and reading, there is much to be proud of.” 

“Overall, national scores on the 2017 administration of the NAEP remained mostly flat, except for a two point increase in eighth grade reading,” said Paul Perrault, Vice President of Research and Evaluation at Helios Education Foundation.  “Florida students, on the other hand, demonstrated noteworthy progress in math at both grade levels and in 8th grade reading. Florida also achieved its highest 4th grade math score in history.” 

In terms of proficiency rates, Florida 4th graders continued to outperform their national peers in reading and math while Florida 8th graders performed comparatively worse. Based on 2017 results, the percent of 4th and 8th grade students in Florida and nationally scoring at or above proficient in reading and math are as follows:


Additionally, proficiency rates by race/ethnicity for almost all 4th and 8th grade Florida students inched up in 2017. At the same time, gaps between Florida White students and their minority peers persisted and even widened in many instances. 

NAEP exam is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics to a representative sample of randomly selected individuals across all 50 states and is considered a national gauge of academic achievement. Click here to see more information about NAEP scores by state.

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