The state’s public school system remains the top school system in the country for a fifth straight year, according to a report released by Education Week Thursday.
A leading education publication, Education Week graded Maryland public schools a B+ overall, the only state to receive such a high mark. Massachusetts, New York and Virginia followed Maryland in the ranking, each receiving B marks.
Maryland earned its best marks, A’s, in the areas of early-childhood education and preparing students for the workforce. The state’s school system received A- marks in the areas of college readiness and school accountability.
In a press statement, Gov. Martin O’Malley said that despite recent economic struggles Maryland has continued to invest in its public schools.
“From the earliest days of our administration, job creation and its primary ingredient, education, have topped our agenda,” O’Malley said. “Every year of this administration, even during the toughest of times, we have invested to make this a reality . . . with better choices, we have built what Education Week magazine says is the #1 best public school system in America for the fifth year in a row because of our students, educators and parents who understand that the investments we make in education are investments in the future we all share."
Maryland schools superintendent Lillian M. Lowery said the rankings should be used as motivation for greater improvement.
“Every child, every parent, and every educator in Maryland has the right and expectation to have a world-class school in their neighborhood or where they work,” Lowery said. “Education Week’s analysis of our work illuminates many positives, but we also know where we need to improve. We’ll use this, and other information, to help make certain we have better classrooms for every student.”
From the Maryland State Department of Education press release:
“Maryland has continued to build upon its success since gaining the top slot in the nation in 2009. In 2010, Maryland was awarded a portion of the federal government’s $4.3 billion Race to the Top funding, which has helped the State strengthen standards for students and educators, build a new data warehouse, and improve educator evaluation. Last year, Maryland received an additional four-year $50 million federal grant to help continue its reform efforts in critical early childhood education programs.”