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Education Report Card Reveals Most States Still Below Average

Indiana Remains Number One, While Mississippi Makes Most Progress

CER Press Release
Washington, D.C.
October 1, 2014

Just six states earn rankings above 80 percent when it comes to giving parents fundamental power over their child’s education, according to the fifth edition of Parent Power Index (PPI), released today by The Center for Education Reform (CER).

Parent Power Index is a web-based report card that evaluates and ranks states based on qualitative and proven state education policies. The higher a state’s grade, the more parents are afforded access and information about learning options that can deliver successful educational outcomes for their children.

“While it’s true some states have made progress, it’s not nearly enough to meet demand. Simply put, we need more learning options available to more families, and we need them fast,” said Kara Kerwin, president of The Center for Education Reform.

“Out of the over 54 million K-12 students nationwide, only an estimated 6.5 million students are taking advantage of charter schools, school choice programs such as vouchers or tax credits, and digital or blended learning models,” said Kerwin. ”With the United States’ school-aged population expected to grow at unprecedented rates in the next 15 years, how will our school system be able to meet demand when we already have wait lists for charter schools and oversubscribed scholarship programs?”

A median PPI score of 67.4 percent (Delaware) shows just how poorly most states have implemented policies surrounding charter schools, school choice, teacher quality, transparency, and online learning, the five main components that comprise state PPI scores. Mississippi, ranked 20, made the most progress, moving up 21 spots and breaking into the top 20 states after being in the bottom 11 states on previous analyses.

“With 36 governor races this November, it’s time enacting parent-empowering policies take front and center. America’s future

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Alabama public education is ranked low again

by Phillip Tutor
Anniston Star
April 17, 2013

Say this much about the Center for Education Reform: It’s not a fan of the quality of public education in Alabama.

The only proof you need is this passage from a recent CER report: “The only other thing this state has going for it is that its teacher quality index isn’t a complete failure. Parents also have access to a decent school report card to better understand their schools, but school board elections are held in October, a busy time for parents to get engaged.”

Ouch.

A recent CER effort ranked all 50 states in what it calls the “Parent Power Index.” Alabama ranked 46th — poorly, in other words, which is so customary in national reviews of states’ public education systems. At the heart of the poor ranking was the state’s lack of charter schools, which, as most Alabamians know, has been a hot legislative topic in Montgomery for some time.

From here, it’s interesting to view the two sides of the broader issue: In Alabama, proponents of our public education — such as the Alabama Education Association, local and state school boards, the governor’s office and the state Legislature — constantly talk of how proud they are of our schools and how convinced they are of their quality.

Yet, out-of-state agencies who study such things consistently point to real and obvious deficiencies. Rarely do the two sides agree.

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