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Minnesota Education Plummets to 10th Place in New National Rankings

Education in Minnesota now trails Maryland, Massacusetts, and Vermont.

Education in Minnesota now trails Maryland, Massacusetts, and Vermont.

Nothing plays more into Minnesota's collective self worth than education.

Perhaps it's time we relied on something else to massage our statewide ego.

Minnesota education ranked 10th among the 50 states and District of Columbia, according to Education Week's "Quality Counts 2015: State Report Cards" rankings compiled by the nonprofit organization Editorial Projects in Education.

See also: Schoolz Suck

That's a five-place drop from last year's showing.

Minnesota's overall state report card was a B-.

According to the group, Minnesota can now be seen in the educational rear-view mirrors of Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, among others.

Education Week's grading incorporated three key barometers.

Chance-for-Success was a cradle-to-career take on education's role in promoting positive outcomes over the course of a person's life. School finance analyzed spending patterns and equity while the K-12 Achievement Index rated states on such things as current academic performance and disparities based on poverty.

Minnesota got a B+ in the Chance-for-Success Index, 13 indicators that included parental education and income as well as preschool enrollment, 4th grade reading proficiency, and high school graduation rates.

But the state scored a C in the magazine's two-pronged finance analysis.

According to the most recent data available, Minnesota's $11,500 per-pupil education expenditure in 2012 was less than that of Midwestern neighbors Iowa, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.

Contrast that number with Wyoming's $17,800 and Vermont's whopping $18,900.

Gov. Mark Dayton has said as recently as late last month that he wants to increase school funding and push for a sharpened focus on workforce training in the state's 2016-17 budget.

But details as to how the Democratic governor would boost funds going to state classrooms have been slow to come. It also remains unclear how Dayton's initiatives will play out with the Republican-controlled House.

For the record, Education Week's ratings were bookended by Massachusetts and Mississippi.

We don't have to tell you which was at the bottom of the list.

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