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How's Your State on Public Education? How's Your State on Public Education?

How's Your State on Public Education?

by Nikhil Swaminathan
January 15, 2010

Education Week
released, "Quality Counts 2010," its annual report card on the state of public education in the U.S. today, praising some states and taking others to task on their stewardship of molding the next generation.What I find most interesting about the report is that states that score high marks on the metrics bundled under the heading "The Teaching Profession" (pdf) aren't the states that are topping the list titled "Chance for Success" (pdf).For the group of measures that include teacher quality and compensation, the top five states are: South Carolina (which earned the survey's only A grade),  Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, and Maryland. However, that translates into success grades of C, C-, C-, C, and B+. respectively. (The U.S. average for "Chance of Success" was a C+.)Maryland is the only one of those five states whose teachers are apparently responsible for its students' success; the others just seem to have "qualified," but ineffective instructors. (In case you were wondering, the five states that offer students the best chances for future success are: Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Minnesota.)This disconnect adds further fuel to the fiery conundrum of what makes for a good teacher. It's a question we've discussed on this blog and that is covered in the latest issue of The Atlantic. Clearly, the debate rages on.
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