Teachers in Virginia have received some of the largest salary increases in the nation in the last five years. The average number of pupils per teacher has fallen more steeply in the District than in any state over the same period.

But, as measured by college entrance test scores and high school graduation rates, schools in Maryland have made greater academic progress over the past half decade than those in either of its neighboring jurisdictions, according to data on the nation's schools released yesterday by Education Secretary William J. Bennett.

The figures, displayed on a large wall chart, were the fifth annual set of state-by-state comparisons issued by Bennett and his predecessor as education secretary, T.H. Bell.

As in the past, Bennett noted that the data shows relatively little relationship between achievement and school resources such as teacher salaries, spending per pupil and class size.

Nationwide, these resources have increased substantially over the past five years, spurred by the 1983 report of the National Commission on Educational Excellence. Achievement, as measured by test scores and dropout rates, improved for several years, but has now come to a "dead stall," Bennett said.

"I am disappointed," Bennett said at a news conference as he showed that test scores and graduation rates were virtually unchanged for the second straight year. "We're paying top dollar to educate our children, but we're sure not getting top return."

In a statement, the National Education Association, the nation's largest teachers union, criticized the comparisons as a "charade." It said Bennett was "diverting attention from the Reagan administration's own record on education" in which the federal share of public education expenses has decreased.

Average scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test, taken by high school seniors, dropped slightly last year in Virginia and in the District, but rose slightly in Maryland, one of seven states to show a gain out of 22 states in which the SAT is most widely used.

Average teacher salaries in Virginia rose by 49.8 percent from 1982 to 1987, the third largest rise in the nation, behind Connecticut and Alabama. The boost came primarily from a state aid program proposed by former governor Charles S. Robb. It raised Virginia from 34th in the nation to 25th, with an average teacher salary of $25,473 last year.

The average teacher salary in the District, which is compared with the states in the report, rose from third to second in the nation with a 39.2 percent rise over five years to $33,797. In Maryland, average salaries rose by 36.8 percent to $28,893, eighth in the nation compared with 10th five years ago.

Nationwide, average teacher salaries rose by 37.8 percent over five years, almost double the 20 percent rise in the consumer price index.

Because of an increase in teaching staff along with a continued decline in enrollment, the number of pupils per teacher in D.C. schools dropped sharply over five years from 18.5 to 14.3, now the fourth lowest figure in the nation. Maryland and Virginia had more modest declines. In 1986 the District spent a higher proportion of its school budget on classroom teachers-50.1 percent -- than any state.

On the SAT, the average score for D.C. students -- in both public and private schools -- rose 21 points over five years to a total of 842 on the verbal and mathematics parts of the examination combined, out of a possible score of 1,600. For public school students the rise was 16 points to 713.

Over five years there was a 19-point gain on SAT averages in Virginia and a 25-point gain in Maryland. At 919, Maryland now ranks third in the nation, up from ninth in 1982.

The graduation rate, calculated as the percentage of ninth graders receiving a high school diploma four years later, was virtually unchanged in the District at 57 percent over the five years. The District had a higher dropout rate -- 43 percent -- than any state, although the figure is similar to that in other big cities. The dropout rate in Virginia was unchanged at 26 percent, but decreased in Maryland from 25 to 23 percent.

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............SCHOOLS: PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES...................

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Jurisdiction..............SAT......Percentage of......Expenditure

.................Year....Scores* ....Graduates** .......per Pupil

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DISTRICT.........1982....821 (21)....56.9% (50)........$3,792 (3)

.................1987....842 (19)....56.8 (51)......***5,337 (4)

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MARYLAND.........1982....889 (9).....74.8 (19).........3,234 (7)

.................1987....914 (3).....76.6 (19)......***4,450(10)

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VIRGINIA.........1982....907 (8).....73.8 (22)..........2,384(36)

.................1987....888(11).....73.9 926).......***3,520(30)

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U.S..............1982....893.........69.5...............2,726....

.................1987....906.........71.5............***3,752....

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Jurisdiction............Average.....Teacher Pay as.....Pupils per

..............Year....Teacher Pay.....% of Costs..........Teacher

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DISTRICT......1982......$24,265 (3)....39.8% (33).......18.5 (26)

..............1987.......33,797 (2) ***50.1(1).........14.3 (4)

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MARYLAND......1982.......21,120 (10)...40.1 (31)........18.5 (26)

..............1987.......28,893 (8)***39.1 (37)........17.1 (25)

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VIRGINIA......1982.......17,008 (34)...43.0 (16)........17.8 (22)

..............1987.......25,473 (25)***41.6 (26)........16.8 (23)

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U.S...........1982.......19,274.........40.5............18.9.....

..............1987.......26,551......***40.6............17.8.....

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* SAT scores include public and private schools; all other data for public schools only.

** Percentage of ninth graders who graduate high school four years later.

*** 1986 figures.

NOTE: All figures in parentheses represent rank among U.S. schools.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education.