South Dakota Top Blogs

News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Friday, January 11, 2013

Quality Counts 2013 Education Rankings Come In: Maryland First, South Dakota Last

Education Week  has issued its 17th annual report on the quality of education in the U.S.  This year, South Dakota came in dead last.

Grading Summary
1. Maryland 87.5
2. Massachusetts 84.1
3. New York 83.1
4. Virginia 82.9
5. Arkansas 81.7
6. Florida 81.1
7. Georgia 81.0
8. New Jersey 80.8
9. West Virginia 80.8
10. Kentucky 80.1
11. Vermont 79.9
12. Ohio 79.6
13. Wisconsin 79.4
14. Texas 79.4
15. Louisiana 79.0
16. Connecticut 78.9
17. Rhode Island 78.7
18. Pennsylvania 78.2
19. Delaware 78.0
20. Indiana 77.8
21. North Carolina 77.7
22. Tennessee 77.6
23. Wyoming 77.5
24. Michigan 77.3
25. New Hampshire 77.1
26. South Carolina 76.9
U.S. Average 76.9
27. North Dakota 76.8
28. Illinois 76.7
29. Hawaii 76.7
30. Alabama 76.6
31. Oklahoma 76.5
32. Colorado 76.1
33. Maine 75.9
34. Iowa 75.9
35. New Mexico 75.9
36. California 75.5
37. Kansas 75.2
38. Utah 74.6
39. Minnesota 74.2
40. Washington 73.8
41. Missouri 72.8
42. Oregon 72.7
43. Arizona 72.2
44. Montana 72.2
45. District of Columbia 71.5
46. Nebraska 71.2
47. Alaska 71.0
48. Mississippi 71.0
49. Idaho 70.9
50. Nevada 69.7
51. South Dakota 69.3

Huffington Post reports the story.  


caheidelberger said...

Quote from HuffPo that makes me go "No! No! Noooooo!":

Lawmakers in South Dakota are apparently aware of this inferior status -- they're trying all kinds of different things to change education in the state, including a failed ballot initiative that would have abolished teacher tenure. Those lawmakers might find the state's grade useful in pushing their agenda again this year.

South Dakota gets an F from Michelle Rhee's completely ideological, non-results-based, and soon to be completely discredited report card:

David Newquist said...

The people and organizations who are so obsessed with ranking systems and teachers have forgotten, if they ever knew, what the main purpose of a report card is: to provide students and their parents with a comparative perspective on their work,not to stamp a grade on them as if they are sides of beef coming off the kill floor. I place a great of responsibility for education going awry with the unions and disciplinary organizations, not because the unions place value on seniority. but because they have let the Michelle Rhees and Scott Walkers co-opt the discussion about what comprises good teaching and successful results. Both Rhee and Walker militate against organizations in which teachers discuss, decide, and formulate what works in the process of education. Rhee and Walker want teachers subject to managerial authority in which the managers determine what comprises good teaching and have the authority to employ those they like and fire those they don't at will. Their objective is to reform the teacher corps into bonded servants, not to allow people with intensive educations and experience do the research and creative enterprise of making programs and testing the results. When I first came to South Dakota, the SDEA was as much a professional organization as a bargaining agent. The NEA was once the premier professional organization involved in teacher training and professional development. Until Dianna Miller sold out the SDEA to Bill Janklow, the SDEA put together the professional development programs. It had a week every spring when the students got a vacation for intensive workshops, seminars, and other training sessions to keep teachers informed of new developments and to keep in touch with each other. Then through the efforts of Janklow and Miller, the SDEA was shoved into the role of the bargaining agent, and its role in providing professional development was greatly reduced. NEA, AFT, and disciplinary organizations such as the National Council of Teachers of English, have let the managers such as Rhee and Walker dominate the public discussion and public perception of how education is achieved, and Rhee and Walker are not talking about education, but about turning a profession into a serfdom. Rhee's organization gives South Dakota such a low ranking because its citizens voted down that absurd HB1234 law. If there is hope for education, it is in the results of that referendum. But all can still be lost if teachers do not take up the issues and persist in expaining what is so terribly wrong with Daugaard's notions. I am sure that the legislature will be back this with schemes to make teachers disposable serfs, and to give education another chance to devote itself to the making of docile, obedient, and uneducated students.

John said...

I second the skepticism over the "rankings". Student achievement from the northern plains states consistently for decades leads the nation - IA, MN, WI, NE, etc. The implied contention that Florida, Georgia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and others are now education leaders with students' results first is questionable at best, and is likely borderline insanity.

caheidelberger said...

You make a good point about professional development. I vaguely remember seeing "SDEA" on some student vacation days in October when I was in elementary school. I've never seen any such SDEA days since becoming a teacher. Most of the professional development activities in our school are brought to us either by local teacher committees independent of the SDEA local or by the state's Department of Education and TIE.

Unknown said...

caheildelburger has been widely discredited as a far left wingnut blogger.

The reason that SDEA is no longer involved in PD, is that teachers are not interested in PD. If the SDEA wanted, it could assert and insert itself into PD, but it knows that there is no interest in the ranks. When a SF public school teacher appears on KELO TV in her classroom in flips, she is not interested in PD.

Even caheildburger has screamed about more money in his blogs & "columns", but not one word about PD.

Blame whomever you wish--teachers are not interested in PD.

David Newquist said...

I was there when Janklow and Miller maneuvered the SDEA out of its role in leading and participating in professional development. The arrangement was that if teachers wanted a professional institute, they could have it the week before school started, with everyone knowing that it was the worst possible time, because teachers would be preparing for the start of classes and getting their own families ready for the academic year. It was tried for a few years, but the scheduling was almost impossible to accommodate for most people.

As for teachers wanting professional development, as a director and co-director of the Dakota Writing Project, I can refute that with a massive amount of evidence. They want a program in which they contribute, not merely sit through indoctrinations to convert them into docile zombies. The people who want schools that do not inspire any curiosity and intellectual initiative from students work hard at obstructing and discouraging teachers from engaging in independent and scholarly-based examinations and developments in education.

The only people who discredit Cory Heidelberger are those who wish to discredit all that has worked in American public education and all that still could if so many people weren't turning schools into concentration camps for students and teachers, who have done nothing wrong but have an original thought or two.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David Newquist said...

A comment above has been removed because it contains a potentially libelous allegation. It is being checked out.

Unknown said...

Information on one commenter's profession development can read this news article:

Unknown said...

"As for teachers wanting professional development, as a director and co-director of the Dakota Writing Project, I can refute that with a massive amount of evidence."

Attempt #2: Where is the evidence?

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States