The Richmond Register

January 17, 2013

Kentucky breaks into top 10 in national education ranking


Special to the Register

FRANKFORT — Kentucky’s ranking in an annual assessment of all states on key education indicators rose four places, making it 10th in the nation for its efforts to improve teaching, raise student achievement and many other variables related to public education.

Each year, Education Week (a national publication that focuses on P-12 education) produces a special issue, “Quality Counts.” The report tracks key education indicators and grades states on their policy efforts and outcomes. Last year, Kentucky ranked 14th in the nation. In 2010, the state was in 34th place in this annual report.

“Kentucky has made dramatic progress in P-12 education in recent years, and we should be proud of that,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “This Quality Counts report recognizes all the hard work of teachers, administrators, parents, business and community members to educate our young people which will result in stronger workforce and improved quality of life for the people of the Commonwealth.”

“Kentucky is emerging as a leader in education,” said Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. “2009’s Senate Bill 1 mapped the course with rigorous academic standards aligned to the demands of college and career; assessment and accountability that drives improvement; and a focus on educator training and effectiveness that results in greater student achievement and readiness.”

Quality Counts provides data and information about states’ efforts in six areas:

• K-12 Achievement

• Standards,

 Assessments and

 Accountability

• Teaching Profession

• School Finance

• Transitions and

  Alignment

• Chance for Success (an index that combines information from 13 indicators that cover state residents’ lives from cradle to career)

States were assigned overall letter grades based on the average of scores for the six categories. This year, Kentucky’s overall grade was a B-minus, an improvement over last year’s grade and a higher grade than the national average, which was a C-plus.

No states received a grade of A in the 2013 edition of Quality Counts. The highest-ranking state was Maryland, with a B-plus. Three states received B grades; eight states (including Kentucky) received B-minus grades; and 19 states received C-plus grades.

Quality Counts also provides detailed scoring for each major area, and on a 100-point scale, Kentucky scored at 90 or above in five areas: School Accountability (Standards, Assessment & Accountability); Building & Supporting Capacity (Teaching Profession); Early Childhood Education; College Readiness; and Economy and Workforce (Transitions and Alignment). Kentucky received a perfect score in School Accountability and Economy & Workforce. The state’s lowest score was in Spending (School Finance), in which Kentucky’s total was 53.4 points.

This is the 17th edition of the annual Quality Counts report, and the theme this year is the impact of a school’s social and disciplinary environment on students’ ability to learn and on the teacher and administrators tasked with guiding them.

The full report is available at http://www.edweek.org/.