WASHINGTON, D.C. – Education Week came out with their rankings of the states with the best and worst schools.
They make their ratings on a variety of factors which include K-12 achievement; standards, assessment and accountability; the teaching profession; school finance; students’ chances for long-term success; and transitions and alignment.
The top schools were (descending order) Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, Minnesota, Florida, Pennsylvania, Washington, Colorado, Virginia.
The worst schools (worst to least worst) were Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico,West Virginia, Alabama, Alaska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Michigan, Oklahoma.
One conclusion from the study has damning ramifications for the Common Core Initiative. The conclusion is that standards have almost no impact on student achievement.
There is a surprising lack of correlation between the state’s K-12 achievement and the presence of policies Education Week identified as important. Five of the 10 states with the best achievement scores are among the worst in the country for setting standards and using assessment techniques that are most likely to be effective, according to Education Week. Meanwhile, Louisiana and West Virginia are the second- and third-best states for standards, but they are both among the five worst states in student achievement.
It is particularly damning because states like Mississippi, Louisiana, and New Mexico have been the most faith at implementing the Common Core. They are three years into implementing the Common Core, yet they are at the bottom. Massachusetts has paused Common Core, and they have been at the top of education ranks for many years due to result of policies put into place by Sandra Stotsky and others in the late 1990s. In addition, Minnesota only adopted the English Language Arts standards, and rejected the Common Core math. New Hampshire’s largest school district rejected the Common Core and many school districts in that state have followed. Virginia has also rejected the Common Core.
While some argue it takes while for standards to have an affect, the reality is after three years, one should see upward mobility among states. Yet, this has not occurred.
With so many schools at the top of the rankings having rejected the Common Core, and with so many at the bottom having implemented the Common Core with fidelity, one has to wonder why any state would move forward with adoption. Clearly, it takes more than standards and assessment to provide a quality education. Florida recently withdrew from the Partnership for Assessing Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) and Maryland took over as fiscal agent.
As a side note, Alaska has the highest spending in the nation on a per pupil basis, yet ranks as one of the bottom 10 schools. One can safely conclude that money can’t buy you love, nor can it buy student achievement scores.
Authored by Allison Martinez – Free Patriot