“Learn More. Go Further” pushes Florida’s educational triumphs

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“Learn More. Go Further” is the new multimedia campaign launched this week to celebrate the Florida’s successes in implementing higher school standards, starting 15 years ago with Florida’s A+ Plan.

The goal of the information campaign is to bridge the gap between the documented realities of education in Florida and the attitudes and beliefs of the public. A recent survey found that only eight percent of parents statewide and four percent in the Tampa Bay are accurately saying that Florida schools are above average, compared to other states.

Produced by the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the campaign includes a series of digital, television and radio ads featuring real Florida Teachers making the case for Florida Standards—the new iteration of Common Core math and language criteria.  

The first TV spots, set to continue in the Tampa Bay media market through Sunday, features Faye Adams, a Pasco County teacher for more than 10 years.

Adams highlights the fact that Florida has become a top-10 school system, based on measures such as those in the Nation’s Report Card, released by the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP):

  • An increase in the number of high school graduates who have taken at least one AP exam
  • Florida placing fifth for the percentage of 2013 graduates who succeeded on AP exams
  • The 810 percent increase since 2003 in the percentage of low-income graduates who earned a score of 3 or higher on a AP exam has increased
  • A more than 20 percent increase in Florida’s graduation rate after education reforms implemented more than a decade ago

This year, Florida’s graduation rate hit 75.6 percent, a new high.

“Florida has reversed a generation of decline in education. In 1998, nearly half of Florida’s fourth graders were functionally illiterate,” said Adams. “Today, Florida’s Fourth and Eighth graders are above the national average in reading. Minority students have made the greatest gains, and have narrowed the achievement gap for the first time in our lifetime.”

“For the 15th anniversary of Florida’s A+ Plan, it is inspiring to recognize how our state has dispelled common myths about education,” said Wendy Rivera, executive director of the educational outreach group MultiCultural Education Alliance. “We have demonstrated that when you elevate standards, students rise to them. Time and again, Florida teachers and students have tackled new challenges and have met higher expectations.”

For more information on “Learn More. Go Further,” visit www.LearnMoreGoFurther.org

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.