Minnesota schools merely average in new Education Week survey

Minnesota earned a "C" grade and was ranked 36th overall by Education Week in its latest state-by-state survey of K-12 public schools, "Quality Counts." That's no better than the national average.

So we're that kid that everyone says could get better grades and win a spot at a decent college if only we'd spend half as much time on our homework as we do goofing off with our friends of Facebook.

Overall grade: 1. Maryland B+ 2. New York B 3. Massachusetts B 36. Minnesota C

We did pretty well in the Chance for Success category, which measures parental influence, enrollment percentages and graduation rates. Minnesota scored 8th, with a B+ average.

1. Massachusetts A 2. Connecticut A- 3. New Jersey A- 8. Minnesota B+

In K-12 Achievement, which looks at test scores, we placed 9th overall, even though we were graded "C."

1. Massachusetts B 2. New Jersey B- 3. Maryland B- 9. Minnesota C

The School Finance category measures spending per pupil. There, our "C" grade placed us 23rd.

1. Wyoming A- 2. Rhode Island B+ 3. New Jersey B+ 23. Minnesota C

And in the final category, Transitions and Alignment, we scored a C- and placed 38th. The criteria here was a set of 14 policies that Education Week deems key for moving students through the school system and into the workforce.

1. Arkansas A 2. Maryland A 3. Tennessee A 38. Minnesota C-

Things could be worse: Nebraska ranked dead last overall in "Quality Counts," for example. Still, incoming education commissioner Brenda Cassellius has her work cut out for her, as does Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature, if we want our schools to be better than average.

And the news is also troublesome for Tim Pawlenty, currently embarking on a national book tour and testing the waters for a possible presidential run. He likes to talk up Q-Comp, his 2005 program for linking teacher pay to student performance. But "Quality Counts" suggests that T-Paw may not be running as "The Education President."

Read the full report here.

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