The Answer Sheet

Maryland tops states on education report card

By Valerie Strauss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 14, 2010; 12:15 AM

The nation earned a C on the 14th annual Education Week report card, which measures how well states have delivered a high-quality education to all students, with Maryland earning the best overall grade of any state and Virginia placing in the top five, with a B minus.

Maryland scored a B plus and was followed by Massachusetts and New York, which both earned a B. Most states got grades of C or lower.

The annual Quality Counts report, a publication from Editorial Projects in Education, which publishes the trade magazine Education Week, rated and ranked the 50 states and the District in six areas of education performance and policy.

[Note to rating organizations: Please stop measuring Washington as if it were a state. The little notes explaining that it really isn't a state don't work. If you want it included in your state measurements, please support D.C. statehood. For the record, the District was ranked 51st, with a D plus.]

Maryland did well in all categories: B plus for helping families improve students' chances for success, as well as for standards, assessments and accountability; B's for teacher requirements, K-12 achievement and school finance; and A for connecting K-12 education with early learning, higher education and the work world.

People pay attention to the report because Education Week is a respected publication. But as with any such assessment, don't take a grade as gospel. Some of the measures used to grade the states are debatable.

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