Education Week, the national newspaper that ranks state education systems based on statistical information, released its public school education rankings in their Quality Counts report on Thursday. Maryland public schools were ranked #3 falling only slightly behind Massachusetts and New Jersey.
“I think what is important to note is that we are among the best schools in the nation which brings families and businesses to the state,” said Betty Weller, president of the Maryland State Education Association, the union that represents most state teachers. “There are 47 out of 50 states [that] would love to be sitting where we are,” Weller said.
From 2009 through 2013, Maryland held first place in the rankings — a record boasted frequently by politicians, business leaders and others looking to attract investment and families to the state. Education Week did not rank states last year.
“We are all very proud that Maryland had that No. 1 distinction,” State Superintendent Lillian Lowery said. Lowery — and Education Week — said the state’s ranking fell not because of performance but because the publication dropped three policy-oriented categories in which Maryland had excelled.
The publication focused instead on three other categories: school financing, achievement and the “chance of success” for a child born in each state — based on factors that include preschool enrollment, high school graduation rates and parent education.
Education advocates said there might be an advantage to the slight drop. They cite it forces educators and administrators to focus on the challenges that are hindering Maryland public schools from rising to the top. It gives a voice to the problems and discrepancies that exist in the educational system.
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Source: The Baltimore Sun