A New State Is At the Top of the National School Systems Ranking

education discussion

The county as a whole once again receives a C grade despite some battles for position across individual states in the recently released “Quality Counts 2019,” the 23rd annual report card of national education systems published by the Education Week Testing Facility. New Jersey gets the top spot. The third volume of the report, which synthesizes 39 indicators covering a variety of socioeconomic, academic, and financial elements influencing state school system excellence, is released today. The final grades show several recurring trends except for a change at the top. No state scored higher than Massachusetts’ 88.4 in the academic accomplishment category alone, and 44 states had grades of C or below. Additionally, the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic are home to the majority of the top-ranking states.

Making a score

The nation received a C on the aggregate report card last year, and this year’s grade of 75.6 shows an improvement of 0.5 points above that mark. The numerical score’s minor improvement includes slight improvements in each of the major report card areas. However, the outcome also maintains a pattern of subpar performance, with significant differences across states with high and low scores. Massachusetts’ four-year reign at the top of the Quality Counts ranking, in which New England also received a B-plus, comes to an end with New Jersey’s first-place position and a score of 87.8 and a B-plus. On the total scores, Massachusetts was just a few tenths of a second of a point behind winning first place. Next up are New Hampshire (82.5), Maryland (83.1), and Connecticut (83.6), with the only this year.

Also visit: The Special Education System In The USA: An Insider’s Perspective

How to Use Ranking

The report card’s overall letter grades of A through F represent the mean of the numerical results on a conventional scale from 0 to 100 for three unique indices created by the research center:

The Chance for Achievement Index assesses educational possibilities available to a person from birth through adulthood.

The school budget study measures the amount spent on education and the justice of how funds are allocated among districts in each state.

The K-12 Success Index assigns ratings to states based on their present academic performance, historical trends, and disparities caused by poverty.

The third edition of Quality Counts for this year updates final grades based on outcomes from each of the three report card framework categories. The K-12 Success grades, which are largely based on Established Objectives of Educational Research and training scores from 2017, have also been modified based on our most recent study of Honors test scores and the most recent high school graduation rates in order to use the most recent data available. Grades were released in the February and June installments, respectively, for the Chances for Success and Responsible For the purchase categories.

Money Matters

As a result of the Money Matters School Finance results, New Jersey surpassed Massachusetts to take the top spot. Other top states were distinguished from their contemporaries by their funding rankings. With a score of 89.3 (B-plus), New Jersey is ranked third in the US for school finance, surpassing Massachusetts, which is ranked 11th at 83.4. (B). Compared to Massachusetts, New Jersey is superior in terms of spending and fairness. With $16,543 spent on each pupil, it comes in sixth place. The final say on how much money is spent on education rests with state policymakers. Third, in the nation, New Jersey spends 4.8 percent of its total taxable income on education. Massachusetts, which ranks 31st, devotes only 3.3% of state funds to K–12 education.

Place Matters

Regional trends are still distinct. Fast charter schools in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic areas are distinguished from lower-performing systems across the rest of the country by significant disparities in educational achievement. Your access to educational possibilities is influenced by where you grow up. Just one state in the top 10 overall that isn’t in the North or Mid-Atlantic is Wyoming and Minnesota. All ten of the states with the lowest rankings, however, are in the South, South, or West. The Chance for Success Index results highlights the persistent regional differences in important economic and educational metrics. Five of the six states with the highest Chance for Success ratings are situated between Massachusetts and Virginia along the East Coast.

The Best Improve

Some top-tier counties stand out because, despite already holding a high position in the rankings, they keep making progress in a few key areas. Long-term advantages for these states include typically robust economies and educated populations. For instance, with a significant gain of 4.5 points between 2008 and 2019, New Jersey, the state with the highest overall ranking in 2019, is rated 17th for progress in K 12 Achievements. The second-best growth in K to 12 Achievement throughout that time period was achieved by Connecticut, which is currently ranked third overall, with a 9.0 point rise. In contrast, 12 states saw a fall in K–12 Achievement of at least one point over that time. The worst-performing states were Virginia (-5.0), North Carolina (-5.0), and Maryland, which are all historically high-performing states (-4.6).

Observe the West

The West contains four of the ten states that have had the biggest increases in their total scores from the previous year. The states that had the biggest increases from 2019 to 2018 were Nevada (+1.8), the population District of Colombia (+1.6), Texas (+1.5), California (+1.1), and Wisconsin (+1.0). For the very first time since 2015, Nevada’s improvement propelled them out of the last position in the overall standings. Its graduation from high school rate increased by the second-largest amount in the country between 2014 and 2017. Additionally, it saw significant improvements in parental education levels, family income, and adult educational attainment. California scored 3.3 points more than it did a year ago in terms of overall financial performance.

Positive Thinking or Not

The nation’s performance hasn’t changed significantly generally over the past ten years, but some measures have seen more improvement than others. The three actual Quality Scores indices can be compared to data from the special study, which is when they were first created with the current scoring methodology. The average score for the country in each of those 3 categories has barely changed throughout that time, rising by just 0.5 points. However, a closer examination of the data indicates that some measures’ results, which make up those aggregate scores, stand out for growth, while those for other metrics only inched up or dropped.

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By Travis Mann

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