Number One Again! (Video)
Respected education journal Education Week ranks Maryland number one overall in the nation in its Quality Counts survey. Dr. Nancy Grasmick talks about achieving the top ranking for the second year in a row, and what's ahead.
The Maryland public school system remains firmly at the head of the class, according to an independent national report being released today.
Education Week, the nation’s leading education newspaper, looked at data in six critical categories over the past two years, and once again placed Maryland’s state education system at the very top of national rankings.
Maryland placed at the top of the list in Education Week’s annual “Quality Counts” tally, with the nation’s only B+ average. New York and Massachusetts followed closely with B grades. The majority of states received grades of C or less, according to the report.
“We have chosen as a people to invest in our public schools – in the future of our State – even when times are tough,” said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. “Today, Education Week, for the second straight year, has certified that Maryland has built the number one public school system in America. Even during these difficult economic times, we’ve continued to fully fund efforts to build new, state-of-the-art classrooms, integrate curriculum across all grade levels, and hire and retain the nation’s best educators. Now, for yet another year, Education Week has affirmed the importance of protecting these shared priorities.”
Maryland’s 2010 ranking is based on State education policies and student performance that reflect nearly two decades of work on a preK-12 curriculum; state accountability and standards; teacher effectiveness; and work on school readiness, high school reform, and preparation for college and the workplace.
“Our work did not end with last year’s ranking, and it doesn’t end today. Our commitment to our schools and the students and families we serve is undiminished,” said State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick. “The ‘Quality Counts’ report gives us one significant yardstick by which we can measure our success. We won’t rest until we know that all of our students are getting the education they deserve.”
Today’s announcement by Education Week continues Maryland’s long history of success in the annual review. Maryland has consistently worked to strengthen policies and improve student achievement, resulting in a ranking that inched higher year after year before gaining the top spot for the first time in the 2009 “Quality Counts” report.
“I’d like to thank the staff of the Maryland State Department of Education, members of the Maryland State Board of Education, and local system superintendents, administrators, and teachers for maintaining focus on student achievement,” Dr. Grasmick said. “With the support of the Governor, the Maryland General Assembly, educators, parents, and the public at large, we are able to continue to transform our classrooms.”
Dr. Grasmick gave special thanks to the business community, which has consistently supported Maryland’s education reforms. “Our businesses understand the importance of strong schools and prepared graduates,” she said. “For our State to remain competitive, we need a vital preK-12 education system.”
The new report finds that no other state has a more consistent record of excellence than Maryland. Results for the State were above average in all six of the broad grade categories, and ranked in the top seven in five of the six categories.
Also highlighted in the report is a special look at mathematics progress, using data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results and Advanced Placement scores. Maryland ranked second in the nation, just behind Massachusetts, in this segment of the report.
Most of the state-level data gathered by Education Week comes from a policy survey of the states conducted in the summer and fall of 2009. In addition, the publication draws on data from such organizations as the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Bureau of the Census, and the American Federation of Teachers.
For more information, see the Education Week website, www.edweek.org.
EDUCATION WEEK’S QUALITY COUNTS RELEASE
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