emEducation Weeksem annual report card

Massachusetts improved its grade point average in Education Week‘s annual “Quality Counts” assessment, thanks to more tests for both students and teachers. Tough MCAS requirements prompted Education Week to upgrade the Bay State from a B+ to an A- in the “standards and accountability” category, where only three states got perfect scores. (Massachusetts lost a few points for not putting more essay questions on the MCAS exams.) In “improving teacher quality,” Massachusetts was bested by only two states, jumping from C to B by requiring instructors to pass content-area test. (Connecticut and North Carolina scored more points by requiring novice teachers to pass a state-administered “portfolio assessment” in order to receive a second-stage license.) Massachusetts was also cited for providing more training to teachers just entering the classroom, and for holding teacher-training programs accountable for their graduates’ scores on teacher-licensure exams. But Education Week is not so happy with teachers who lead classes outside of their fields. Eight states, almost all in the South, won points for notifying parents when a child’s teacher is not certified in a course’s subject area. The Bay State’s lack of such a requirement was one reason it wasn’t able to break the tie with another B state, South Carolina.

The Bay State was in the middle of the pack on the “adequacy” of educational resources, moving from C to B- on the basis of several criteria having to do with per-student spending. On the matter of “equity,” however, Massachusetts fell from a C to a D, reflecting the greater educational resources available in towns with high property values. (This category is based on school-finance data for the 1998-99 academic year, the latest available from th US Census Bureau.) Hawaii, by the way, automatically gets an A in this category, since there’s only one school district covering the entire state.

State Standards and Accountability Improving Teacher Quality Resources: Adequecy Resources: Equity
Alabama

C+

D C C+
Alaska

D+

D C+ C
Arizona C+ D F D
Arkansas D+ B- C C+
California B C F C+
Colorado B+ C C C-
Connecticut B- B+ A- D
Delaware B+ D+ A- C-
Florida A- D+ C- B
Georgia B- C- B- C-
Hawaii D- C- B- A
Idaho D D C- C
Illinois A- C C+ F
Indiana B+ C+ A- C-
Iowa F D+ B C+
Kansas C+ F B B-
Kentucky A C+ B- C+
Louisiana A- C C+ C+
Maine C D B+ C-
Maryland A C B D-
Massachusetts A- B B- D
Michigan C C- A- C-
Minnesota D- C B+ B-
Mississippi D+ C D+ C
Missouri B C C D+
Montana F D B- D-
Nebraska F C- B D+
Nevada B- C- C- B
New Hampshire C D C F
New Jersey C C+ A D
New Mexico B C- C B+
New York A C A D+
North Carolina B B+ C C
North Dakota D F B F
Ohio C- C B- D-
Oklahoma B B- C B-
Oregon B D+ B C+
Pennsylvania B- C- B+ D-
Rhode Island D+ D+ A- D+
South Carolina B+ B B- C
South Dakota D+ F C+ C
Tennessee C+ C D+ D+
Texas B- D+ C C+
Utah C D F B+
Vermont C C+ A C-
Virginia B C+ C+ D+
Washington D+ D+ C C+
West Virginia C C A C+
Wisconsin D D+ A C+
Wyoming D- F A C

Source: Education Week (www.edweek.org)