From State Impact by John O’Connor
The ad serves two purposes: it argues Florida schools are improving, and that improvement is due to annual statewide testing, school grading and other policies promoted by former Gov. Jeb Bush. Bush founded the Foundation for Excellence in Education. The ads are tied to the 15th anniversary of Bush’s A+ education plan
So what does the ad claim? And is it accurate?
“Florida is a top ten state” — This one struck us as odd, because the small print at the bottom of the screen attributes it to the U.S. Department of Education, the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Center for Education Statistics and the National Assessment of Educational Progress — none of whom issue one-to-50 rankings of state education systems.
So we asked the Foundation for Excellence in Education what it referred to. The answer is the 2013 Education Week Quality Counts report card, according to spokesman Allison Aubuchon, which uses a variety of data to evaluate state education systems.
Education Week did not rank states on its 2014 report cards.
Florida’s graduation rate is improving faster than the national average though. Florida’s rate improved by 7.4 percentage points between 2001-2002 and 2010-2011, while the national average improved by 5.6 percentage points.
“300 percent more students are taking and passing AP exams” — The ad doesn’t specify a time frame — on a long enough scale lots of things increase by 300 percent — but it’s pretty clear more Florida students are taking and passing AP exams.
The percentage of Florida students taking an AP exam has increased by about 146 percent,
to 80,175 from 32,566, since the AP began the Report to the Nation a decade ago,. The percentage of students passing an AP exam with a score of 3 or higher is up 111 percent in the same period, to 41,149 from 19,452.