Louisiana's Overall Ranking Climbs Significantly in 2013 National Report Card

Staff Writer
Donaldsonville Chief

BATON ROUGE - The 2013 edition of Quality Counts was released today, and Louisiana's overall ranking jumped to 15th this year from 23rd last year and up from 44th in 2008. The annual publication is a report card on education, providing a national and state-by-state summary and competitive analysis. With the improvement, Louisiana now ranks in the top third of states in the nation.

Governor Bobby Jindal said, "Our kids deserve a high-quality education system so they can be prepared for the workforce. That's why we have made bold changes to our education system so that every child has the opportunity to get a great education - and our reforms are working. Indeed, this new ranking shows that our education system has gone from almost rock bottom to number 15 in the country. We've made great progress, but we will not stop until Louisiana has the best education system in the country."

"Improving educational outcomes for Louisiana students is a priority for our state and is central to all of our efforts. Across the state and at all levels of government and schools, individuals have signaled their commitment to implementing policies and strategies that will produce positive results for our children, and I am pleased that this report highlights improvements. However, it also encourages us to renew our efforts to ensure all students are on the path to college or a career, "said State Superintendent John White.

Louisiana received high praise yet again and showed gains in two of the three indicators recalculated for 2013. Quality Counts updates scores in the six main performance measures on a rotating basis. Three of the six performance indicators in the 2013 Quality Counts report are fresh for this year, including Transitions and Alignment and School Finance Analysis.

Transitions and Alignment. In 2013, Louisiana was well above the national average in this category which evaluates the state's alignment of early childhood education and college and career readiness. Louisiana is one of only 8 states earning an "A" letter grade on educational alignment policies, increasing the state's score 10.8 points to 92.9. The 2013 national average for Transitions and Alignment is 81.1 for a grade of "B".

School Finance Analysis. This measure evaluates not only overall school and student funding, but also equity in the distribution of funds throughout districts. Louisiana earned a score of 75.3, up from 74.7 last year, earning a grade of "C", and ranking 21st. The 2013 national average was 75.8 for a grade of "C".

"This reinforces the strong foundation we have laid for increasing career and college readiness for all kids across Louisiana," said Chas Roemer, president-elect of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. "However, it also highlights the need to redouble our efforts to realize the results our kids deserve and our economy demands."

The scores in remaining categories - Standards, Assessments, and Accountability and The Teaching Profession - are based on the state's score from the 2012 report.

Standards, Assessment, and Accountability. In 2012, Louisiana earned a score of 97.2 and a grade of "A", ranking second in the nation in this category. The 2012 national average was 85.3 for a grade of "B".

The Teaching Profession. For its policies on improving and maintaining teacher quality, Louisiana received a 2012 score of 79.6 and a grade of "B-". The state was ranked 11th in the nation. The 2012 national average for The Teaching Profession was 72.5 for a grade of "C".

Summary of the 2013 Quality Counts Data Analysis:

Louisiana 2013 Overall Score: 79.0

Louisiana 2013 Overall Grade: C+

Louisiana's 2013 Ranking (50 States and DC): 15

2013 National Overall Grade: C+

The entire Quality Counts report can be found on Education Week's website, at