The Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line Featuring
Florida’s Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart
As the Florida Chamber knows, our students are our state’s greatest asset and a talented workforce is quickly becoming Florida’s new economic currency. Just 12 years ago, Florida was ranked toward the bottom in the nation, but on the most recent Quality Counts study, our state moved up five spots in educational quality in the nation.
“Pretty amazing jump for us in Florida in 12 years and certainly that 11 to 6 jump is something we can be proud of, but that’s not all,” said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart.
In fact, Florida’s educational systems have continually improved throughout the past few years. Commissioner Stewart shares that:
- Our Hispanic students are the highest in the nation for graduation rates,
- Florida moved up five percentage points in graduation rates in just two years,
- We are the only state in the nation that narrowed the gap between Caucasians and African American students in both fourth and eighth grade reading and math,
- Florida is second in the nation for our AP participation and 5th in the nation on the performance of those students,
- Florida has the highest AP scores for high-poverty students in the nation, and
- In five years, Florida increased the STEM participation by 46 percent.
When asked about the Florida Standards, Commissioner Stewart knows that one of the ways to get to a talented workforce is by creating educational systems that work.
“We are absolutely on track and ready,” said Commissioner Stewart. “[Florida] Standards do a good job of helping individuals become critical thinkers and problem solvers…Employers are going to want people who can think through a problem, solve a problem, think on their own, have good judgment and the standards certainly can help us get there. We have done a great job of helping our teachers know how to make that shift away from just reciting facts to being able to think critically and solve problems on their own.”