Virginia remains fourth in the nation in overall educational quality and performance, according to an annual report by Education Week.
The journal’s Quality Counts 2013 report gave the commonwealth a B, the same grade it earned last year when Virginia also ranked fourth.
The three states ahead of Virginia in the Education Week ranking were Maryland, which received a B+, and Massachusetts and New York, which were also given Bs.
“Virginia is blessed to have some of the best schools, school systems and teachers in the nation but all students deserve to attend excellent schools with great teachers.” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement reacting to the report. “The closer we come to achieving this goal, the closer the commonwealth will be to ranking at the very top in national reports such as Quality Counts. We must continue to bring innovative solutions to Virginia schools in order to ensure that all students are prepared for the jobs of the future.”
McDonnell has made education one of his major legislative priorities in this year’s General Assembly. His four-year term ends next January.
Quality Counts grades are based on each state’s performance in six areas: the role of education in promoting success at various stages of life; K-12 student achievement; rigor and quality of academic standards, assessments and accountability systems; teacher preparation, licensure and evaluation; school finance; and transitions and alignment of state policies related to school, college and work-force readiness.
Virginia received an A on standards, assessments and accountability; two Bs for promoting a student’s chance for success and transitions and alignment of state policies; a B- for teaching preparation and evaluation; a C for K-12 achievement; and a C- for school finance.
The other states in the top 10 are: Arkansas, fifth; Florida, sixth; Georgia, seventh; New Jersey, eighth; West Virginia, ninth; and Kentucky, tenth.
At the bottom of the ranking are: the District of Columbia, 45th; Nebraska, 46th; Alaska, 47th; Mississippi, 48th; Idaho, 49th; Nevada, 50th ; and South Dakota, 51st.
Among other nearby states, Delaware ranked 19th; North Carolina was 21st and Tennessee ranked 22nd.
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