|Education Week Releases Quality Counts Report|
|posted by: Alix | January 13, 2011, 05:27 PM|
Education Week released its annual report on the state of education in the United States this week. Entitled "Quality Counts," the report awards grades to individual states for their policy and overall education performance coupled with school budgets and reform efforts. The report comes on the heels of what economists note is the end of the "Great Recession." Schools boards across the country are feeling the heat from slashed budgets and fewer resources making for a challenging year in public education.
The grading system of states has garnished the most attention. Overall the nation received a C when graded across the six distinct areas of policy and performance tracked by "Quality Counts," which Education Week claims is the most comprehensive ongoing assessment of the state of American education. The report reintroduced its K-12 Achievement Index, which evaluates the strength of a state's performance against 18 individual indicators that follow: current achievement, improvements over time, and poverty-based disparities or gaps among other quantifiers.
Maryland was the top-ranked state, earning the nation's highest overall grade, a B plus for the third year in a row. Massachusetts and New York followed behind, each receiving a B. The majority of states receive grades of C-plus or lower. Four states—Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and West Virginia—and the District of Columbia receive grades of F on the index.
The report is cause for concern according to its authors. "If the turbulence and waves of hardship brought by the recession have taught us anything, it's that America will sink or swim in a global economy based on its success educating all of its citizens, not just a privileged few, to high standards," said Christopher B. Swanson, vice president of Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit organization that publishes Education Week. "If we are going to continue advancing as a nation, then strong, sustained, and equitable educational improvement must become the norm for students in every state rather than the exception that it is today."
Education Week staff claim that the recession had a great impact on the state of education in 2010, making creative cost-cutting reforms imperative to success. Former D.C. School Chancellor Michelle Rhee asserts , "States will continue to find it difficult to solve budget deficits if they continue to ignore problems surrounding the current structure of their benefits and pensions for teachers and administrators."
The full report can be found here.
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