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Maryland Still Isn’t Number One

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January 10, 2013

This year’s report from an education news publisher ranks Maryland as number one yet again , and yet again we feel like screaming at the top of our lungs “Wake Up, Maryland! Your schools aren’t No.1!

In the “Wake Up!” piece, CER President Jeanne Allen points out how the ratings that put Maryland at No. 1 are based on inputs, like funding, and fail to consider student outputs. Last year, the Nation’s Report card “revealed that average proficiency is only 50 percent in math and reading — hardly an achievement.”

Not only that, but “even the federal government knows Maryland isn’t No. 1. Last [year], the state’s application for charter school funding was rejected because its law is not strong enough.”

Maryland’s ranking on the Parent Power Index, which rates states based on cumulative progress on all reforms and lets parents know how much power they have when it comes to their child’s education, is 38 out of the 50 states and DC — hardly near the top!

Until we start thinking in terms of outputs, as today’s Wall Street Journal piece on grading schools addresses, parents and lawmakers will continue to go on believing that their schools are just fine, when the reality is that schools and the system at large could be doing so much more for our kids.

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