Florida is ranked as #1 state for education by U.S. News & World Report

Press release from the Florida Department of Education

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. celebrates Florida’s ranking as number one in education by U.S. News & World Report. Under Governor Ron DeSantis’ leadership, Florida continues to be the national leader in education. The ranking methodology uses a variety of metrics to measure the overall quality of each state’s education system from prekindergarten through higher education.

Since Governor DeSantis took office, Florida has prioritized education by providing teachers historic salary increases, ensuring students were able to return to in-person instruction following the COVID-19 pandemic, abolishing woke ideology from the classroom, eliminating Common Core and transitioning to a progress monitoring system for accountability.

“The Florida education model stands alone as a shining example for all other states to follow,” said Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. “Thank you to the leadership of Governor DeSantis and Florida’s outstanding teachers and students who made this recognition possible. While we are proud of this accomplishment, we will continue to multiply our efforts to solidify Florida’s reputation as the Education State”

The report incorporated data from higher education, including graduation rates, population with advanced degrees, debt at graduation, and the cost of tuition and fees. College readiness, high school graduation rate, preschool enrollment, and results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) were the metrics used to evaluate the effectiveness of education from prekindergarten through grade 12.

Highlights from Florida’s number one position include:

  • Florida ranks number one for higher education for the 7th year in a row.
  • Florida boasts the lowest higher education in-state tuition and fees among all states.
  • The state’s high school graduation rate was 3.7 percentage points above the national average according to U.S. News & World Report.
  • Florida came in second for completers of two-year degree programs and ranked fourth for four-year graduation rates at higher education institutions.
  • Florida’s college graduates had less debt at graduation than the national average by nearly $5,000.
  • Florida ranked 12th overall for the percentage of children enrolled in a preschool program.
  • Florida improved from third to first in education since Governor DeSantis took office.

Read the full report here.

  • Most of the accolades for education from US News and World Report – including the #1 ranking – are for higher education, which is where DeSantis and the state GOP are instituting changes which are guaranteed to lower that ranking.

    Primarily these are attacks on faculty hiring and tenure by putting political appointees – not the faculty or departmental heads – in charge of hires and tenure and weakening and removing tenure all together. UF is already losing people who have options to go elsewhere and any new hires will be of lower quality because no one with options would want to come here.

    Also, the attacks on D,E,I and New College are symptomatic of the political meddling – and worse – by the administration. Yeah, we have had a very good state university system, with UF ranked as the 5th best public university and New College ranked as the 5th best public college behind only the Naval Academy, West Point, the AF Academy, and VMI. (https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-liberal-arts-colleges/top-public)

    DeSantis is literally taking an axe to New College, which has also in the recent past had the highest rate of grads go on to graduate studies IN THE NATION, encouraging students to leave while firing faculty and administrators, because they aren’t politically correct enough for him.

    Enjoy our high rankings now, because the Governor is ruining the system and running them down.

  • Interesting.

    The ranking criteria used and grading does put the national teachers’ unions in a credibility detention.

    On March 20 US News ran a story which included: “Clearly what’s happening in Florida isn’t staying in Florida,” said Becky Pringle, the president of the National Education Association, who called DeSantis a “spiteful and dangerous governor,” and one, she said, “who like too many others has focused on destroying this state and our nation’s public schools.”

    How does Florida’s ranking of #1 in education and #14 in pre-K-12 translate to destruction of public schools? How about the performance of California which caves to unions: #20 in education and #38 in pre-K-12)?

    Can it be public education is improving without the unions support? If so, imagine what progress could be made WITH their support.

    This ‘DeSantis bad for education, unions good for everything’ isn’t holding any political reality when confronted with hard data.

    There’s still plenty room for improvement but it must be understood unions represent themselves and teachers, not schools, parents, or state curriculum.

    • Well buckle up people because AI will change the narrative, once it’s in place, to only reflect the opinion of the writer. Journalism will fade.
      It’s already happening with our liberal media.

    • Dude, Florida is not ranked #1 in “education, it’s state university system is and DeSantis has done nothing to cause that and is presently taering it apart. Smarten up and smell the BS.

  • AWESOME Guv!! Great going to Santa Fe College here in town, I can find enough money for tuition in the cushions of my couch! 🛋 💰 🥰

  • It’s most remarkable considering the state has always had an influx of new families coming in or breeding in place. It proves we cannot pay attention to lefty unionized, selfish control freaks. This trend started with Jeb and continues with Ron, we’re blessed. 🙏🏻🇺🇸😇

  • People get all worked up over the name U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT. It’s just a news magazine like Time or The Atlantic. I personally never liked Machen or the changes he made to suck up to the magazine.

  • First, it is important that people see a small piece of the actual picture. It
    was only new teachers that were given a raise. Been teaching math 14 years, my students every year perform very high in the state tests, and there are new teachers (keep in mind we are there mentors) making about the same as I do. I know teachers who left the profession or moved because they are unable to afford to live here. Every school I know, good schools are short staffed. We have been looking for a math teacher and it is difficult to find and hire one due to the pay. We need to get out priorities together, truly increase teacher pay so our children of the future have the best!

  • This has got to be a joke!!! This must be a Republican site. Florida schools are under attack by DeSantis Heil DeSantis!!

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