Persistent Increasing Achievement Gaps= #1 School System

As sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, Maryland’s public rulers are crowing about the state’s number one ranking by Education Week, to justify our multibillion dollars in education spending.

For the fourth year in a row, Maryland public schools have come out on top on the annual state-by-state report card published by Education Week magazine.

Maryland earned its top place with an overall B+ grade, compared to a C average for the nation as whole.


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Maryland public schools again did not place first on the measure of student achievement. This year, it came in third place after Massachusetts and New Jersey with a score of 83.9 — two points below Massachusetts. Student performance only counts for one sixth of the grade on the Education Week report card.

Achievement plus other factors, like socio-economic factors, teacher pay and education spending are factored in to the scores.

A true measure of a school system should be how well it educates all of its students, especially in a state that is constitutionally mandated to provide a “thorough and efficient system of Free Public Schools.”

Unfortunately, a look at the data shows that Maryland’s highly touted number one ranking (and the billions we pay for it) masks a system that produces persistent and ever increasing achievement gaps, and churns out high school graduates who need remedial math and English when they get to college.

We pay $6 billion annually for increasing achievement gaps between wealthy and poor students, and minorities and White students.

If Maryland is number one, then I’d hate to see what last place looks like.

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