Education Week launched a new report card today, grading the states across six areas of education performance and policy. While the U.S. posted a grade of C overall, the average state earned a D-plus on public school achievement, the poorest showing of any graded category. Marks were also low for state efforts to improve teaching, where 10 states earned a grade of D or lower.
High-quality teaching matters more to student achievement than anything else schools do. So one would assume that states, districts, and schools would have a laser-like focus on attracting, training, and supporting the very best people for the job.
The analysis is included in the report, Quality Counts 2008: Tapping Into Teaching, Unlocking the Key to Student Success, which also found that workers in other occupations have a greater chance to earn above-average salaries than teachers, whose wages are more compressed. A state-by-state assessment shows that teacher earnings fail to reach the parity mark in 40 states and the District of Columbia. The least-competitive teacher salaries were found in North Carolina and Missouri, where earnings are less than 80 percent of those for comparable workers.
View the articles and report cards on the Education Week Web site.