Monday, August 04, 2014

Washington State Gets "Mixed" Review in Rankings for States for K-12 Education

From the Huffington Post, a report about a ranking list from a personal finance site, Wallethub, for K-12 education in the 50 states. 

Washington state ranks 15th overall (kind of surprising) but 29th in spending, giving our state their "mixed" ranking.  They give our state a 50 for "Education output and safety."

Education Output & Safety

  • Safest Schools (Percentage of Public School Students in Grades 9–12 who Reported being Threatened or Injured with a Weapon on School Property): 1
  • Bullying Incidents Rate: 1
  • Percentage of People (25+) with Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: 0.5
  • Champlain University High School Financial Literacy Grade: 1
No surprise, states that rank high in overall K-12 education, also spend the most.  Top scores went to New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Kansas.  The worst? Nevada, Louisiana (home of the charter "miracle"), Alabama, Mississippi and the District of Columbia.

The article notes:

Overall, Wallethub's rankings were somewhat similar to a recent list from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which found the best states for education were Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut. However, the foundation found the worst states were West Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Nevada.


Anonymous said...

Apparently no one at HuffPo reads newspapers.. the real ones.

Shortchanging Kansas Schoolchildren
Published: October 13, 2013


The underfunding of Kansas public schools has been a long-running problem made worse by both parties in budget pinches over the years. But the schools’ fiscal agony took a precipitous turn last year when statehouse Republicans decided that an encouraging postrecession increase in revenues was the perfect moment for a huge tax cut, rather than for the overdue restoration of school aid to levels mandated under the State Constitution.

Kansas Legislature Threatens Showdown With Court Over School Financing (October 9, 2013)

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Editorial: False Equality in Michigan (October 14, 2013)
Editorial: Hope for a Malaria Vaccine (October 14, 2013)
Editorial: Will New York’s Political Watchdog Pass the Test? (October 14, 2013)

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In signing a five-year, $3.7 billion tax cut, Gov. Sam Brownback took the position that cutting taxes did more to create jobs than meeting per-student aid formulas. That dodgy rationale was argued in the State Supreme Court last week when a group of school districts and parents sued for their fair share of aid under the State Constitution’s “suitable provision” mandate. State spending on education has fallen an estimated 16.5 percent since 2008, including $500 million in cuts under the Brownback administration, resulting in teacher layoffs and larger class sizes.

In response, lawyers for the state insisted that the Legislature, not the courts, was the best judge of what should be spent on the schools, and conservative lawmakers vowed to defy any court order to the contrary.

The court should quickly put priorities in order by affirming a lower-court ruling last January that found the state “completely illogical” in using the new revenues to provide tax cuts while arguing it had inadequate resources for educating schoolchildren. The lower court unanimously ordered the state to increase annual education funding by at least $440 million.

The State Supreme Court should uphold that order while making it clear that the Legislature does not have the power to unilaterally shortchange schoolchildren

This is the current state of ed in Kansas.. little has changed since Thomas Frank wrote the book literally on Kansas

- Reads Real Newspapers

Melissa Westbrook said...

Great point, RRR. Brownback has really taken a hatchet to school funding.

Greeny said...

Thank you, RRN - and a great reminder to make sure I fact-check second sources before making decisions to, oh say, jump ship from SPS (before we've even had one day in school!) and move to....anywhere. Have been thinking a lot on Finland lately...

And thank you Melissa & co for your prolific reading and informative posts.