Just weeks after Monroe High School was ranked one of the top schools in the nation, Education Week has announced that Ohio's public school system ranks as the fifth best school system in the nation, behind Maryland, New York, Massachusetts and Virginia. The publication gives the schools an overall grade of "B minus." Last year, Ohio ranked sixth and the state ranked seventh in 2008, marking steady progress.
"This report confirms what the members of Ohio's educational community have known for several years - Ohio has a strong system that is viewed as a national leader. I would like to commend the administrators, teachers, students and policy makers who have helped strengthen Ohio's education system," said Deborah Delisle, Ohio's superintendent of public instruction.
Governor Ted Strickland also commented on the accomplishment, "Ohio's schools deserve a thunderous round of applause for making continuous strides each of the past three years in the Education Week rankings. We have made quality, affordable learning a priority for our students, knowing that a modern education with dedicated teachers and relevant assessments will help prepare our children for success in the future. I believe that our comprehensive education reform plan will further strengthen Ohio's national position for years to come. I appreciate the efforts of Ohio's educators, State Superintendent Deborah Delisle and members of the State Board of Education Board for their tireless efforts to strengthen our schools so our students can compete with students anywhere on earth."
Six areas of education were examined. Ohio received the highest grade, an "A" (or third best in the nation) in "standards, assessment, and accountability." This area focuses on learning expectations, how challenging assessments are, and how they influence school accountability. It also noted that Ohio's math and science standards are being used as models for other states in the country.
51 states currently participate in the Quality Counts report but Ohio was one of the most recognized, as it works to offer quality education to students, no matter their zip code.
In other areas of the report, Ohio ranked 18th in school finance, yet still spends more per pupil than the national average. In the "Change for Success" category, which looks at "preparation, school performance, and education and economic outcomes," Ohio went down from 24th in the nation last year to 25th in the nation this year. One reason for this is the low number of children who attend preschool, as well as the low number of adults with college degrees in Ohio.
Teachers are absolutely the key to success for Ohio's students. This year, Ohio ranked 14th in the nation in the category "Teaching Profession" and was named as one of thirteen states where achievement is directly linked to teacher evaluations.
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