Study gives state F for achievement

Louisiana got an F for public education achievement Thursday for the third consecutive year in an annual study done by Education Week magazine.

However, better grades in other areas allowed the state to finish 15th in the nation in the rankings, up from 23rd last year and 44th in 2008.

The review, which is called Quality Counts, assigns grades to each state in six areas, including academic performance, standards and assessments and teacher quality.

Louisiana got an overall grade of C+ for the third consecutive year.

Maryland was rated tops in the nation with a grade of B+.

The next top-scoring states are Massachusetts, New York and Virginia. South Dakota finished last.

The failing mark in student achievement here has set off alarm bells in education circles in the past.

In 2011 then state Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek called the grade “a clear wake-up call for those who insist there is no crisis in public education in Louisiana.”

In a prepared statement, state leaders on Thursday stressed the positive parts of the report, including an A for education standards, assessments and accountability and an A for aligning early childhood education with training for college and careers.

The state got a C- in the category of chances for success for children; a B- in teacher quality and a C for education equity and spending levels.

Gov. Bobby Jindal said in a prepared statement that the survey shows the state’s education system “has gone from almost rock-bottom to No. 15 in the country.”

State Superintendent of Education John White said in a news release that the report shows that all levels of government are committed to improving public education.

“However, it also encourages us to renew our efforts to ensure all students are on the path to college or a career,” White said of results of the study.

The ratings for student achievement typically include a review of 18 indicators, including gains in the classroom, poverty-based disparities and how fourth- and eighth-graders fared in math and reading on what is known as the nation’s report card.