Top Three Takeaways – February 26th, 2021
- Success to Significance. One of my all-time favorite radio execs, who is now retired, had what he called his “Keys”. One of those keys sticks with me daily. Success to significance. He was ahead of his time really. Even before the conversations regarding participation ribbons took hold, he pushed us to raise our bar on expectations and that real success is success that’s significant. In recent years in Florida, we’ve made meaningful improvements in education outcomes, most notably with the graduation rate which has risen from an abysmal 58.8% in 2006 to 90% last year. While in its own way that improvement can be deemed significant – I've still been leery regarding education outcomes. Are Florida’s students really learning more or are we simply graduating more? That’s been a question I’ve not had clear cut answers to previously. On one hand Florida’s advanced from 45th in K-12 outcomes to 18th nationally. On the other hand, the US has fallen from 2nd in the world in education outcomes in 1980 to 27th today. With the country falling behind progressively simply not losing ground would have presented the perception that our kids were performing better. Even if they weren’t. But it appears as though more Floridians really are learning more and what’s happening is success to significance. That’s because...
- We’re #2 in the percentage of graduating seniors who’ve passed AP exams over the past year. A remarkable 34.2% of Florida’s graduating seniors passed at least one AP exam, which is college equivalent course work, second only to Connecticut which only edged us out by .3%. This is truly success to significance. Consider... Florida’s the third most populous state, we’ve raised our graduation rate by 31.2% and we have the second highest percentage of our students graduating with Advanced Placement education. That's a huge win and it’s a clear indication that Florida’s exceling in all facets of education.
- Florida is winning. And I’m far from being tired of it. Our state has had so much going for it for so long but the one big blemish which had been holding it back was education. For far too long far too many Floridians weren’t completing their education and weren’t necessarily exceling when they were. It led to a largely service sector economy which sadly led to many of our top performers leaving our state after they’d completed their education for career purposes. Over the past decade that dynamic has been shifting and now it appears that final cog in the puzzle is complete. Florida now really appears to have the best of just about everything – including grade school education outcomes. Something I never truly imaged I’d one day be reporting on when I moved here sixteen years ago but couldn’t be happier about today.
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