Florida ranked No. 1 for education despite backlash. Despite a recent legislative session that saw strong opposition from students and faculty, Florida has been named the No. 1 state for education in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking. The ranking was largely based on Florida’s public higher-education system, which scored above other states in areas such as graduation rates, cost of degrees, and student debt. The state’s pre-K-12 system ranked No. 14, based on high school graduation rates, preschool enrollment rates, and results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Some education groups across the state criticized the ranking, citing a range of bills that sought to legislate what can and cannot be included in the curriculum. Despite the criticisms, the Florida Department of Education credited Gov. Ron DeSantis for prioritizing education by providing teachers with salary increases, and ensuring students were able to return to in-person instruction following the COVID-19 pandemic. Education Commissioner Manny Diaz said that the “Florida education model stands alone as a shining example for all other states to follow.” TBT