Last month, Education Week released their annual report Quality Counts, which grades and ranks states on their education policies. This particular issue, which was released in January 2013, focuses on school “code of conduct” and highlights the timely topic of school safety (considering the issue was released less than a month after the Newtown, CT shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary).
Like last year, we dug into the Quality Counts data from 2013 to bring you the OEP Policy Brief Quality Counts 2013, which focuses on Arkansas performance on the categories graded for each state in the QC report. However, it should be noted that we have cautioned readers about the usefulness of these rankings in a previous blog post. Regardless, we do believe that the Quality Counts rankings are useful, but should not be considered an “end-all, be-all” of education rankings.
Arkansas was ranked 5th among the 50 states for overall education policies. We were one of 8 states who received a grade of B- (but our numeric score of 81.7 earning us that letter grade was the highest among the eight ‘B-‘ states). Only Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia scored higher in the overall ranking. But to quickly put into perspective how this high ranking should be viewed with caution, Arkansas received a grade of D in the subcategory for Student Achievement. As such, we raise our eyebrows at the ranking of ‘5th in the nation’ when we are scoring so low on the fundamental education output of student achievement.
You can read more about Arkansas’ rankings and our comparison to other states in the Quality Counts 2013 policy brief!