Georgia ranks seventh in the nation in new education report

ATLANTA -- Georgia ranks seventh in the nation for overall education quality, according to an Education Week report recently released.

The annual Quality Counts report is an investigation of key education outcomes that provides ranks and grades for each state based on their commitment to improve educational policies and practices. This year's report gave Georgia a grade of B-.

Last year, Georgia ranked eighth among all states.

"We are very pleased with the overall marks that Education Week gave Georgia for its commitment to education," State School Superintendent John Barge said. "While there is still plenty of work to do to improve education in Georgia, it's good to see others recognizing some of the improvements that are happening in our state through the extraordinary work of our students, teachers and leaders."

Ranking sixth and earning a letter grade of B+, Georgia remains a national example of best practices in the area of Transition and Alignment, which addresses the articulations between early childhood education, K-12 education and postsecondary institutions. Additionally, Georgia remained in the top 10 of all states for the second straight year in the development of a rigorous and appropriate accountability system for teachers, along with providing teachers with incentives for certification and performance and enhancing building-level capacity and support.

Georgia received an A- for Standards, Assessment and Accountability policies and programs. Georgia is only one of 10 states to have alignment between standards and assessment in the area of Social Studies and is a national leader in portfolio assessments for students.

Georgia ranked fourth in the Change in AP Scores category, which examines the change in high scores per 100 students between 2000 and 2010. Georgia also ranked ninth in the scores of 3 or higher for each 100 students on the AP tests, cementing Georgia's reputation as a national leader in AP testing and AP achievement.

"This report demonstrates that improving education for Georgia's students is more than evaluating a single test score," Superintendent Barge said. "We will continue to focus on raising the quality of education so our students are ultimately prepared for college and careers."

The Quality Counts Report 2012 is available at www.edweek.org.