Louisiana ranks No. 47 in K-12 education analysis

Louisiana was rated fifth worst for the performance of its K-12 public education system in a study by the Cato Institute that challenges other influential rankings of student achievement.

The Cato study contends other state rankings that have shaped public debates over education policy, including reports by U.S. News & World Report and Education Week, study factors that don’t have a direct bearing on student learning. These studies also lump diverse student populations together rather than comparing students in the same ethnic and socioeconomic groups who live in different states, the Cato study says.

The study authors say their rating provides a less biased evaluation of state public education systems than the more traditional rankings.

In terms of average aggregated scores based on academic tests administered by the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), Louisiana ranked No. 49. The state ranked No. 45 on the U.S. News analysis.

States in New England and the Midwest tended to have lower rankings than what the other studies concluded, the Cato analysis says, while Southern and Southwestern states had higher rankings than in the more traditional studies. Moreover, Southern and Southwestern states scored a further rise in their rankings when efficiency in education spending is taken into account, according to Cato.

How Do States Measure Up on K-12 Student Learning?

Quality Rank State Aggregatred Rank U.S. News Rank
1 Virginia 5 12
2 Massachusetts 1 1
3 Florida 16 40
4 New Jersey 2 3
5 District of Columbia 51
6 Texas 35 33
7 Maryland 24 13
8 Georgia 32 35
9 Wyoming 6 34
10 Indiana 6 17
11 North Dakota 17 28
12 Montana 22 10
13 North Carolina 26 23
14 New Hampshire 3 2
15 Colorado 14 30
16 Nebraska 9 15
17 Delaware 35 18
18 Washington 10 26
19 Ohio 14 36
20 Connecticut 11 5
21 Arizona 38 48
22 South Dakota 19 22
23 Kentucky 29 24
24 Illinois 28 14
25 Kansas 22 27
26 Pennsylvania 12 11
27 Missouri 26 19
28 Vermont 8 4
29 South Carolina 44 43
30 Tennessee 37 29
31 New York 30 31
32 Iowa 17 8
33 Minnesota 4 7
34 Mississippi 46 47
35 California 41 44
36 Michigan 33 21
37 Hawaii 39 32
38 Idaho 19 25
39 Utah 12 20
40 Rhode Island 30 9
41 Oklahoma 40 42
42 New Mexico 50 50
43 Alaska 48 46
44 Nevada 44 49
45 Oregon 33 37
46 Wisconsin 19 16
47 Louisiana 49 45
48 Arkansas 43 38
49 Maine 24 6
50 West Virginia 42 41
51 Alabama 47 39

Source: Cato Institute; National Center for Education Statistics; National Assessment of Education Progress.

This article was first published by Watchdog.org.

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