A national report card examining state education policy and performance has given Missouri an overall grade of C, up slightly from last year's grade of C-.
The "Quality Counts 2013" report, released Thursday, shows Missouri's score sitting slightly below the national average score of C+. For the second consecutive year, the state ranks 41st nationwide.
"We are pleased to see Missouri's grade inching higher, but we know our state must continue its efforts to make greater strides in providing a quality education for all students," said Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro.
This year's report focuses on three areas, or indicators, that impact education:
- Chance for success, which includes a number of factors related to educational achievement such as family income, parent education level and employment status, kindergarten enrollment, elementary reading scores, middle school math scores, high school graduation rates, college completion rates, and employment rates.
- Transitions and alignment, which looks at policies connecting K-12 education with early learning, higher education and the workforce.
- School finance analysis, which examines funding issues, including per-student education spending, percent of taxable state resources spent on education and spending disparities among school districts.
To determine each state's overall grade, the report combined the scores from this year's indicators with the scores from indicators analyzed in 2012: K-12 achievement; standards, assessments, and accountability; and the teaching profession.
Missouri's Top 10 by 20 initiative calls for the state to rank in the top 10 in education by the year 2020.
In addition to the state-by-state analysis, this year's "Quality Counts" report examined safety, discipline and other school climate issues that impact academic success. The analysis includes highlights from a survey of more than 1,300 educators across the country who provided their insights about factors that affect the learning environment.
The "Quality Counts" report is published annually by the Editorial Projects in Education, a nonprofit organization that works to raise awareness about education issues in America.