Based on state and federal data from 2017 to 2019, Quality Counts 2020’s final grading of America’s schools—regarding  academics, school finance, and long-term socio-economic indicators—is out now, and …

Our overall average schooling grade is 75.9 points out of 100–a not-praiseworthy C. New Jersey topped the states with its 87.3, Massachusetts’s 86.7 a close second—the only two in the B range. New Mexico ranked 50th with its 66.5; Alabama, Nevada, and Oklahoma in the D+ range, too.

And so, as Baptiste Alphonse Karr noted back in 1848, as much as things change, they stay the same: That national average came up just 0.3 points from last year.

Indeed, the state of education before the mid-March COVID-19 lockdown is still in play, remote or otherwise, as yet another school year unfolds with familiar concerns…

  • “A good education begins at home. You cannot blame a school for not nurturing values in your child that you have not instilled.” ~ unknown
  • A YouGov poll found that 95% of parents with kids eight or younger say their tech use interferes at least a little with daily opportunities for talking, playing, and interacting with their children without distractions. 50% don’t want their kids to develop their same screen time and tech habits.
  • Common Core led to a curriculum for test prep but devoid of engaging relevance and content for many students. To make things worse, the assigned texts are often two or three grade levels above the actual reading level of the students to whom the reading is assigned, in a misplaced intent to provide ‘rigor’” ~ Leonie Haimson, executive director, Class Size Matters
  • “Some students said that instructors need to be more entertaining to keep students engaged in the classroom, but this is a big ask given that we are not employed in the entertainment industry. There is also a question of what we are preparing our students for: If we are training them for future employment, we might need to teach them to focus even If class is boring.” ~ Elea Neiterman, Waterloo University
  • “English is an alphabetic language. We have 26 letters. Those letters, in various combinations, represent the 44 sounds of our language. Teaching student the basic letter-sound combinations gives them access to sounding out approximately 84% of the words in English print.” ~ The International Literacy Association
  • “Just as states and school districts add new technology requirements and open STEM-oriented schools, leading technology companies are heading in the opposite direction, forming partnerships with liberal arts colleges and seeking to hire their graduates.” ~ Andrea Gabor, Baruch College, CUNY

With thanks and well wishes, Carol