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State report cards highlight the importance of the Common Core

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 2013 10:15 AM

Education Week recently released its 2013 grades for the U.S. and each of its states, as well as the District of Columbia, based on a variety of factors. As the individual grades ranged from B+ to D+, it is clear that the quality of education varies from one state to another - something the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are designed to address.

Overall, the U.S. earned an average score of 76.9, or a C+, for 2013. This is a slight improvement over the C Education Week gave the nation last year.

Maryland earned the highest grade of  B+ thanks to high marks in areas such as students' chance for success and transitions and alignment. This was also the fifth consecutive year that Maryland landed in Education Week's top spot. South Dakota came in last place with a D+, and is considered to be doing poorly in the areas of K-12 achievement, school finance and teaching.

Despite the current differences in instruction across the U.S., conditions could become more consistent in the years ahead, as 45 states have adopted the CCSS and are currently in the process of implementing them. Once the Standards are in place, students will be learning at the same pace as their peers in other parts of the country.