The good news: Florida's children aren't the dumbest. The bad news: they're no where near the smartest, either. According to a new statistical analysis
by the listacle-happy Daily Beast, Florida's children are only the 30th smartest kids in America. Our children are painfully average. Like, they're not dumb enough to grow up to watch strictly professional wrestling and do most of their reading off the back of a cereal box, but they certainly aren't growing up to be Philip Roth-reading, PBS-watching brainiacs either.
The Daily Beast crunched their statistics based on date from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which they warn "is the only comprehensive, if imperfect, gauge for comparing how America's children are educated." They then "measured the percentage of students who, for the 2009 results, scored at an advanced level or higher for 4th grade math, 8th grade math, 4th grade reading, and 8th grade reading."
Advanced level fourth graders, Math: 5%
Advanced level eighth graders, Math: 6%
Advanced level fourth graders, Reading: 8%
Advanced level eighth graders, Reading: 2%
The Daily Beast notes that states that did better tend to have higher median incomes, and lower levels of poverty, and also notes how different states' policies can affect the outcome: .
In Florida, for instance, between 14 and 23 percent of the weakest-reading 3rd graders who performed poorly on state exams have been held back since 2002, according to a 2010 study by Columbia University professor Madhabi Chatterji -- a far higher rate than for other grades.
The smartest state? Massachusetts of course. The dumbest: the District of Columbia.