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In Newly Released Report Analyzing Quality of Nation’s School Systems, No State Gets an ‘A’

In Newly Released Report Analyzing Quality of Nation’s School Systems, No State Gets an ‘A’

Education Week released this morning the 20th annual report Quality Counts, a report grades and ranks each state’s school system based on three factors: K-12 achievement, school finance, and students’ chance for success.

Each state was given a score in all three categories, which were then averaged for a final score and assigned a letter grade. No states scored an ‘A,’ and the highest score was a B-plus.

"The report is timely, its authors say, because a new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), is poised to gives states more control over accountability, rigor and equity in public schools.It replaces the controversial and sweeping No Child Left Behind Act, which ushered in a new era of testing and accountability,” said mlive.com.

Indeed, as more states are given the power to preside over education matters, each one’s current standing in K-12 education is particularly important without the federal government being able to step in.

Some of the report’s top-scorers include Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland and Vermont. Some of the worst performers include Oklahoma, Nevada, New Mexico and Louisiana.

In Louisiana, which ranks 49th in the report, students scored among the lowest in the nation on tests that measured math and reading achievement.

Despite its poor performance, however, Superintendent of Education John White defended the state by saying while it ranks low, it has experienced improvements in achievements for the past several years.

"In a prepared statement, state Superintendent of Education John White said the state ranked second nationally on gains by fourth-graders on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, in the past two years,” said The Advocate. 

While the state ranks 25th in school finance (spending per student,) it ranks 48th in students’ chances for success, which considers family income and preschool enrollment as factors.

On the other side of the spectrum, Massachusetts schools were ranked the best.

Students in the state achieved the best on national test scores and were ranked as the most likely to succeed for the ninth year in a row.

Read the full report here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

1/7/2015

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