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Florida ranks fifth in nation for education, according to yearly nonprofit ranking

A group of classmates embrace.
A group of classmates embrace.

Florida ranks fifth in the country for education based on an annual report released Monday, June 10 by The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The annual KIDS COUNT Data Book measures child welfare in each state in the country. According to its latest analysis, Florida ranks number five when it comes to education.

Foundation Director Lisa Hamilton said that’s because Florida kids outperform the other states when it comes to math and reading proficiency, and the number of students graduating on time.

“So while there might be lots of conversation in [Florida] about what the curriculum is or what's actually happening in the classroom, what it suggests is that Florida is doing a good job of keeping its eye on the ball of making sure that its children hit these particular milestones,” Hamilton said.

However, Hamilton said Florida didn’t score well compared to the national average when it comes to chronic absenteeism. That's when a student misses ten days or more of school in a year.

“In Florida, 35% of all students are chronically absent. So even worse than the national average,” said Hamilton. “This makes a big difference because of course, if a student isn't in class to learn, they're not going to hit their milestones, they're less likely to do that.”

The national average for chronic absenteeism is 30%.

Hamilton said Florida kids also experience a higher number of adverse childhood experiences or ACEs which can cause childhood trauma and poor mental health.

About 43% of Florida kids have gone through life experiences like one or both parents being incarcerated or having an abusive parent or guardian. Nationally, that number is 40%.

Read the full report here:

Copyright 2024 Central Florida Public Media

Danielle Prieur
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