Kentucky cracks Top 10 of Education Week's quality rankings

01/10/2013 08:13 AM

For the first time, Kentucky broke into the top 10 of Education Week’s annual quality rankings, and received a B- grade overall for student achievement, teacher performance and standards.

Kentucky scored 80.1 on the publication’s rubric. That’s solidly above the national average of 76.9 but well off the pace of top-performing Maryland at 87.5. This year marks the 17th edition of the Education Week’s “Quality Counts” report, which was published online after midnight Thursday.

A closer look at Kentucky’s scores, shows the commonwealth got high marks for the alignment of its education system between early childhood education, K-12 and college preparation. Education Week determined Kentucky was the national leader in how the education system is set up to help prepare students for the economy and the workforce.

Kentucky still has a long way to go in other areas, including student achievement. In that category, Kentucky received a C-. And Education Week gave Kentucky a failing grade for state spending.

Here’s the publication’s Top 10 and their scores:
1. Maryland 87.5
2. Massachusetts 84.1
3. New York 83.1
4. Virginia 82.9
5. Arkansas 81.7
6. Florida 81.1
7. Georgia 81.0
8. New Jersey 80.8
9. West Virginia 80.8
10. Kentucky 80.1

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or


  • Richard Innes wrote on January 11, 2013 07:28 AM :

    Do you really believe Kentucky moved from #34 to #10 in Education Week’s rankings in just two years? Do you really think education systems make improvement where it counts — for kids — that quickly?

    The big jump in the rankings came mostly because Kentucky now has a lot of new assessments and standards on the books. But, the jury is still out on whether those new standards and assessments will really lead to educational improvement for kids.

    By the way, Education Week didn’t even evaluate Kentucky’s standards and assessments for quality. So long as a state had something, that was good enough to pass EdWeek’s muster.

    However, Kentuckians know better. We learned through our experience with both the KIRIS and CATS assessments that just having some standards and tests isn’t nearly good enough.

    Just for a bit of irony, within the past week Michelle Rhee’s Students First group published a report that ranked Kentucky in 35th place for its education policies and laws. You certainly didn’t hear the governor talk about that report, but Rhee’s 35th place ranking is much more in line with Kentucky’s performance on tests that count like the National Assessment of Educational Progress. It even agrees with last year’s 33rd place education ranking for Kentucky from UK’s Center for Business and Economic Research, and that report provides a clearly inflated picture of our performance, as well.

    Tenth place? Not yet.

  • viewer wrote on January 11, 2013 01:43 PM :

    I agree with you Richard. Well stated.

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