This morning, Education Week issued its 18th-annual Quality Counts rankings, an exhaustive study that gives the nation, states and the District of Columbia a report-card grade and a rank in six key educational indicators.
Mississippi ranked in the bottom six in the nation in the three categories Education Week updated this year, including ranking last in “K-12 achievement” and receiving an F. It took a D-plus in “chance for success” and ranked 49th and got a D in “school finance” (46th).
Mississippi’s best grade was an “A” in “standards, assessments and accountability.” It ranked 10th in the country there.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant released the following statement about the rankings:
“Mississippi’s performance on this ranking is a prime example of why I pushed such bold public education reforms last year and why I’ll continue working to improve outcomes in our classrooms. Our Third Grade Gate policy alone will have tremendous positive impact.
“We know that what we were doing in the past was not generating the results students need to succeed. If we are vigilant about implementing the reforms we have adopted, we will see serious improvements.”
Bryant’s Education Works package, which was passed by the legislature last year, included the third-grade reading gate that says students must be reading on grade level in order to be promoted into fourth grade. The package also increases standards for new teachers to enter the profession and provides scholarships to top high school students studying to become teachers, among other measures.