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Minnesota, where the schools are not above average

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has looked at the state of public education across the country and has found that we here in Minnesota are, well, not above average. We're downright middling, in fact. We don't even earn a gold star (unlike Wisconsin).

Here's our report card:

  • School management: D
  • Finance management: B
  • Staffing - hiring and evaluation: C
  • Staffing - removing ineffective teachers: B
  • Data management: B
  • Pipeline to postsecondary teacher education: C
  • Technology use and investment: C
  • Gold Stars: 0
What about the neighbors?

  • Wisconsin gets a "B" in technology but a failing grade in getting rid of poor-performing teachers. Oh, and the aforementioned gold star.
  • Iowa: Like us, a "D" in school management, and also a "D" in staff hiring and evaluation.
  • North Dakota: An "A" each for financial management and tossing bad teachers overboard. Otherwise, mostly "D"-ville.
  • South Dakota: An "A" in technology. An "F" in providing ways for teachers to further their education.

To understand why states scored the way they did, it's important to note that the Chamber is big on innovation ("rigid education bureaucracies impede quality schooling") and competition among teachers ("evaluations are not based on performance"). And it deplores messy bookkeeping ("state finance systems are opaque, inefficient, and undermine innovation").

Or, as the authors say, "Bluntly, we believe our education system needs to be reinvented. After decades of political inaction and ineffective reforms, our schools consistently produce students unready for the rigors of the modern workplace."

Read the whole report here  and the methodology here. And read an independent evaluation of the state's scores at Minnesota 2020.