In an increasingly complex and global economy, America’s students are facing more competition for meaningful employment from candidates around the world. At the same time, employers’ expectations for the level of education and training needed for entry level jobs have increased. Today’s learners are preparing for jobs that may not yet exist.
Below are a few examples of Florida’s success in providing our students with an exceptional education system.
- In 2013, Florida jumped from 11 to 6 in the nation for educational quality.
- Florida has the highest graduation rate in the nation for Hispanic students.
- In 2013, Florida was the only state in the nation to narrow the achievement gap between White and African American students in grades 4 and 8 in both reading and mathematics.
Source: Florida Department of Education
Florida has made impressive strides in its statewide high school graduation rates, which increased from 59.2 percent in 2003-2004 to 80.7 percent in 2015-2016. However, Florida still lags slightly behind the national average, which was 83 percent for the 2014-2015 school year. In addition, while about 75% of students who enter high school graduate within four years, this number drops to approximately 62% of Black and 68% of Latino students.
Between now and 2030, Florida will need to create 2 million more net new jobs. Is our state’s workforce prepared? According to the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Survey (link), 23 percent of survey respondents indicated “Workforce Quality” was their top issue. Florida’s education initiatives are moving in the right direction, but continued partnerships with business, education and workforce leaders are key to continued success.