Which states get it right? Not Florida. It was one of eight states that received an overall grade of ‘F’ when its grades were averaged across the categories studied. The Network for Public Education rated states based on six criteria.
For each category, I combined the percentages of A, B and C grades received across states. I was surprised at the results. Relatively few states (11) use test scores to punish students and teachers, but Florida is one of those that do. You can see the combined percentages (think of them as passing scores) at the end of each of the criteria.
Here are the six categories:
- No high stakes testing for exit exams, promotion, teacher evaluation. (76%)
- Professionalization of teaching includes experience, salary, qualifications. (39%)
- Resistance to privatization by limiting vouchers, providing oversight of charters etc. (38%)
- School Finance includes per pupil funding, and equity. (48%)
- Spend taxpayer money wisely includes class size limits, PreK and Kindergarten, and limits on online education. (39%)
- Chance for success rates lower income gaps and higher integration levels. (43%)
Five states received an ‘A’ on testing policies, but none had ‘A’s on professionalization of teaching. Seven ‘A’s were earned on resistance to privatization; one ‘A’ on finance, and no ‘A’s on wise spending policies. No states received ‘A’s on racial and economic integration.
Florida received one ‘C’ for spending wisely due to a high number of children in its Voluntary PreK Program (VPK) for four-year-olds. There were three ‘D’s and two ‘F’s (Professionalization of Teaching and Resistance to Privatization).
You can read about the methodology. You can smile that Diane Ravitch and the research team at the University of Arizona turned the tables on the accountability advocates by grading them. It is disturbing, however, that there were no overall grades of ‘A’ or ‘B’ for any state.