State gets C-minus in education survey

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

Mississippi ranks 48th in the country in a recent report on the nation’s education systems.
The state received a C-minus grade in Education Week’s annual Quality Counts survey, released on Jan. 10.
The report analyzes states and the District of Columbia in six categories: chance for success; K-12 achievement; standards, assessments and accountability; transitions and alignment; teaching profession and school finance.
Mississippi also received a C-minus last year.
Maryland was the top-ranked state overall with a B+ grade. Thirty-eight states ranked between C-plus and C-minus. Ranking below Mississippi were Idaho, Nevada and South Dakota. The country received a C-plus.
“We are not where we need to be in terms of student achievement, which is why the Mississippi Board of Education continues to push reforms that will increase rigor in our curriculum, reduce our dropout rate and improve students’ reading skills,” said Interim State Superintendent Lynn House. “We also know that many factors influence student achievement, and we hope the leadership in our state and communities will make decisions that will provide the support needed for students to excel.”
Mississippi’s highest ranking was in standards, assessments and accountability.
The state was given an A and ranked 10th in the nation. Its lowest ranking was in K-12 achievement, in which it was given an F and ranked 50th, ahead of only the District of Columbia.
House said the Mississippi Department of Education’s Accountability Task Force is developing recommendations for transforming the state’s accountability model into one that is simple and transparent for parents but also retains the components of its “A” standard.
The K-12 achievement category is based on an examination of 18 measures related to reading and math performance, high school graduation rates and the results of Advanced Placement exams.
House said the Accountability Task Force will consider including AP exam passing scores in its new accountability model.
“Overall, we can certainly identify areas in this report we can address, and the Board will continue to create policies and use resources to encourage high levels of student achievement,” House said. “With that said, several key areas, such as the poverty rate and economic development, must be addressed through statewide efforts involving communities and legislators.”
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com

How We Did
Here is how Mississippi stacked up against other states in Education
Week’s annual Quality Counts survey. States were given a grade and a rank in the six different categories.
Overall: C- (48th)

Chance for success: D+ (49th)

K-12 achievement: F (50th)

Standards, assessments & accountability:
A (10th)

Transitions & alignment: C (36th)

Teaching profession: D (41th)

School finance: D (45th)