OPINION: Florida schools are leading the charts thanks to DeSantis

Florida schools are doing better than other states thanks to the way Gov. Ron DeSantis led Florida during the pandemic. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

There has been an overall decline in quality education thanks to remote learning during COVID-19. Although, on a recent statewide assessment of schools, Florida stays near the top of the list.

Thanks to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ leadership during COVID-19, Florida test scores and lower income schools are doing better than other states.

Florida schools went online along with the rest of the country beginning in March 2020, according to Burbo’s school tracker.

DeSantis gave communities the choice to open up their schools by August 2020. New York schools stayed online for 18 months beginning in March 2020, according to a 2021 article from The New York Times.

By June 29, 2021, all Florida schools, half of California schools and the majority of New York schools were in person, according to Burbo’s school tracker.

The negative effects of shutting down schools for long periods of time have begun to show.

A 2022 study by the Nation’s Report Card (NAEP) shows that Florida fourth graders are third in reading and fourth in math across the country, according to NAEP. California and New York rank below 35 on the scale.

California is ranked 38th for fourth grade math and 32nd for reading. New York is ranked 46th for fourth grade math and 36th for reading.

States that allowed schools to reopen found more success with student test scores, the NAEP found.

“The decline in students’ 2021 test scores as compared to prior years was significantly larger in districts which offered less access to in-person schooling,” the National Bureau of Economic Research found in a 2021 study.

Math scores for mainly in-person schools did not decrease, a 2022 Harvard study found. Yet, states where online learning remained in effect longer, such as California, saw a large decrease in scores.

Harvard also found that high poverty schools suffered the worst of this large-scale school shut down.

“We estimate that high poverty districts that were remote for most of 2020-21 will need to spend nearly all of their federal aid on academic recovery in order to eliminate the losses their students have experienced,” the Harvard study found.

The longer schools stayed online, the more high poverty schools were negatively affected. Thanks to DeSantis, Florida schools are not so behind compared to other states.

“We insisted on keeping schools open and guaranteed in-person learning in 2020 because we knew there would be widespread harm to our students if students were locked out. Today’s results once again prove that we made the right decision,” DeSantis stated in a Oct. 24 news release.

Schools across the country have seen a decline in quality education due to COVID-19. Yet, Florida has managed to lead the way for the school charts. Without DeSantis fighting to keep schools open, students would be worse off.