Hawaii schools got a C-plus in an annual report that grades the quality of the nation’s public education systems, coming in slightly higher than the national average but lower than 19 other states.
Hawaii improved a bit from last year, when the state got a C.
The rankings are included in Education Week’s annual "Quality Counts" report, released yesterday, which looks at school standards, student achievement, the finances of school districts and other factors to determine the strength of a state’s education system.
Maryland topped the nation with a B-plus, followed by Massachusetts and New York. Nevada, with a D-plus, ranked lowest in the nation for states. The District of Columbia was last at No. 51.
Most states earned a C or lower.
The national average was 76.3 percent — a solid C.
Sterling Lloyd, a senior research associate who helped write the report, said "Quality Counts" is aimed at bringing attention to what needs to be improved in schools, and also highlighting bright spots.
"It’s designed to grade states on their efforts," he said.
|ON THE NET:
» Read Education Week’s Quality Counts report at www.edweek.org.
The report gave Hawaii a B-plus for its standards for students, assessments systems and accountability. But it raised concerns about student achievement, giving Hawaii a D in that category.
In teacher accountability and support, the state got a C-plus.
Hawaii finished "in the middle of the pack," Lloyd said.
State Department of Education officials were not surprised by the findings and acknowledged Hawaii schools have a lot of work to do.
"It’s a good reality check to realize where we are," said Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe. "We’re also wary these comparisons are not always equal. It does give us one look" at the overall picture.
The report comes as the department is in the midst of wide-scale reforms aimed at turning around low-performing schools, improving student achievement and helping teachers become more effective.