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Vol. 46, No. 2
January 12, 2012

"Quality Counts" Report Gives State Grades, International Perspectives

A national report card released today gave Missouri an overall score of C-minus across six educational policy and performance categories.

The 16th annual edition of Education Week’s “Quality Counts” report provides state scores and letter grades based on the categories: chance for success; K-12 achievement; standards, assessments, and accountability; the teaching profession; school finance; and transitions and alignment.

The majority of states received overall grades of C or lower, while Maryland earned a B-plus and honors as the top-ranked state for the fourth year in a row. The nation as a whole again earned a C in this year’s report.

Missouri made gains over last year in the category of standards, assessments and accountability, rising from a C-minus to a C-plus. The chance for success category remained steady at a C-plus. The area that declined the most in the state’s report was in the analysis of school finance, dropping from a B-minus to a C-minus, reflecting a decline in spending equity indicators due in large part to the inability of the state to adequately fund the school foundation formula.

Major themes explored in Quality Counts 2012 include international comparisons, teaching, immigration, community and preparing for competitiveness in a global, 21st century economy.

The special, international perspectives theme examines how the world’s public education systems are influencing policy and practices within states. For example, the report reveals Missouri is one of 29 states that include international comparisons to align student preparation with the demands of a global economy. High-performing education systems around the world are effectually creating a cross-fertilization of “best practices."

“Ideas for improving public education are not limited to high-achieving states in the northeast or Shanghai, China,” said Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro. “This report confirms that more states are learning from innovative and useful practices being developed locally and around the world as we strive to provide our students with a world-class education system.”

For more information, visit www.edweek.org.