The nation and many states face a continuing struggle to deliver a high-quality education to all students, according to Education Week's annual education report card. The nation received a C when graded across the six distinct areas of policy and performance tracked by "Quality Counts," the most comprehensive ongoing assessment of the state of American education. Maryland topped the nation with a B-plus overall, followed closely by Massachusetts and New York, both of which earned a B. The majority of states received grades of C or lower.
States posted their highest scores for polices related to standards, assessments, and accountability. The nation as a whole earned a B in this area, with 20 states receiving grades of A or A-minus. The top-ranking states -Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, and West Virginia - had near-perfect showings on the policies examined, many of which have been tracked since the report's inaugural edition in 1997.
"Over the years, states have made tremendous progress in adopting policies that establish standards for academic content, align assessments to those standards, and hold schools accountable for results," said Christopher B. Swanson, vice president of Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit organization that publishes Education Week. "In fact, many policies that were considered highly innovative when we first launched "Quality Counts" 13 years ago are now commonplace."
"Quality Counts 2010" is supported by the Pew Center on the States. The full "Quality Counts 2010" report and interactive state report cards: