January 11, 2011

Arkansas places 6th in Ed Week’s Quality Counts

Ranked sixth overall in the just-released 2011 issue of Quality Counts, Arkansas earned its highest placement ever in the annual ranking of states’ public education policies, environment and performance. Quality Counts, now in its 15th year, is published by the national magazine Education Week.

For the previous two years, Arkansas placed 10th.

Arkansas came in first to lead the way in the category entitled Transitions and Alignments. This section tracks states’ efforts to coordinate connections between public school grades and other segments of the educational pipeline.

“Because of Governor Beebe’s focus on cradle-to-grave education and because of the state’s ability to connect quality data about educational achievement and outcomes from early childhood to college and beyond, Arkansas truly is building a system that promotes lifelong learning. This will serve our state well both educationally and economically,” said Commissioner of Education Tom W. Kimbrell, adding, “It is great to have that achievement recognized by Quality Counts.”

Another top score for Arkansas is in Teaching Profession, a category not measured this year because it is reanalyzed on a two year cycle; last year’s scores were used in the 2011 overall calculations, however. Arkansas ranked second in the Teaching Profession category in 2010 as well as in 2008.

The other categories measured this year included:
• School Finance – Arkansas ranked 27th with a C; grades ranged from A- to D-
• K-12 Achievement – Arkansas ranked 37th with a grade of D; grades ranged from B to F
• Chance for Success – Arkansas ranked 45th with a grade of C-minus; grades ranged from A to D

For more information about the rankings, please visit www.EdWeek.org.