Transformation: What South Carolina Can Learn From Florida’s K-12 Reforms

February 26, 2013

Since the arrival of Steve Spurrier in Columbia, “Florida usually beats Carolina” has eventually become “the Gamecocks usually beat the Gators.” The reverse is true in K-12 education. In 1999, South Carolina students led Florida students in performance on a number of national educational tests, including NAEP, the National Assessment of Educational Progress. But for 2003-2011, in combined Math and Reading NAEP scores, Florida was first with a 54 point improvement and South Carolina was last with a 44 point decline (page 7). Question: How did Florida leapfrog South Carolina in such a short period of time? Answer: transformation through comprehensive reform.