A New Report Card for Country’s Schools

As reported in the Baltimore Sun,

A controversial set of national report cards issued this week by StudentsFirst–the advocacy and lobbying organization started by former Washington, D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee– gave Maryland’s educational policies and reforms a grade of D+ in a state-by-state analysis. . . The organization analyzed three key areas, and several sub-groups, assessing states’ ability to 1.) empower parents, 2.) elevate teachers, and 3.) spend wisely and govern well. Maryland received an overall grade of D or D+ in those three umbrella categories.

StudentsFirst provides an interactive map of its report cards. Maryland’s full report card shows a B+ in spending taxpayer resources wisely to improve outcomes for students, but failing marks in making teacher pensions portable and fair, increasing quality choices, empowering parents with information, and using evaluations for personnel decisions.

As described in the Sun article, the report cards have had a mixed reception across the country.  The American Federation of Teachers, for example, has criticized the report cards, finding that

“. . .they fail to measure what matters most to parents, teachers and students. . .The report cards are silent regarding student achievement, school safety, small class sizes, early childhood education, investments in education, graduation rates or reading instruction.”

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