Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis touted the performance of Sunshine State students on a national standardized exam Monday — and ripped “lockdown” New York for its extended shuttering of schools during COVID.

DeSantis controversially reopened classrooms far earlier than most other states during the coronavirus crisis, arguing that their continued closure would hinder learning.

The Republican cited new results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress as an affirmation of his approach.

“In Florida our 4th grade students rank #3 in Reading and #4 in Math, achieving top 4 in both English and Math for the first time in state history, while lockdown California and New York aren’t even in the top 30,” DeSantis said in a statement.

The NAEP exams are the only standardized tests administered nationally, and allow for state to state comparisons.

DeSantis attributed Florida’s showing to the resumption of in-person learning.

Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses attendees during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit on July 22, 2022, in Tampa, Fla.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hyped up his state’s test scores after he opened up schools earlier than most states during the pandemic.
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File

“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,” DeSantis said. “Today’s results once again prove that we made the right decision.”

Florida reopened schools for full-time in-person learning in August 2020, with other states waiting as long as a year to make them fully operational.

While the Sunshine State 4th graders shined, 8th grade scores in both math and reading remained behind New York.

Officials noted that their national rankings improved since 2019 in the older group, moving up to 32nd math and 21st in reading.

During a mandatory after-school program, Potter Elementary School music teacher Lindsay Blanc. center, gets a group of fourth grade students ready to play "Simple Gifts" in the school chime ensemble, on May 24, 2013, in Tampa, Fla.
Florida reopened schools during Aug. 2020, which was seen as controversial at the time.
Daniel Wallace/Tampa Bay Times via AP

Mirroring the national trend, the state’s 4th and 8th graders saw math scores dip by five points since 2019, the last time the test was administered.

Florida’s 4th-grade reading score stayed flat while the 8th grade saw a three point dip.

The Florida Department of Education asserted that racial education gaps narrowed since 2019, highlighting that its Hispanic students scored in the top 5 for average scores across all categories.

Black students notched marks that placed them in the top 10 rankings nationally, the agency said.

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