The report card from the Education Week Research Center recently gave Kentucky a grade of C-. That’s below the national average of a C grade.
But considering where Kentucky education has been on national scales in the past, the C- was an encouraging sight. Of the 50 states, Kentucky was 36th with a final grade of 72.4 percent. The state ranked 31st in the school finance rating.
The report uses 39 indicators to rate a range of school finance, academic achievement and socioeconomic factors, according to a release from the Kentucky Department of Education.
"The 2019 Quality Counts rankings confirm much of what we already know about Kentucky's public education system," said Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne D. Lewis. "I believe an overall grade of C- accurately reflects both our system's strengths and its areas for improvement."
We agree with Commissioner Lewis. While coming in 36th place with a C- grade isn’t where Kentucky education needs to be, the fact that they’ve climbed toward the middle of the pack on most education indicators is a positive sign.
"Our children and our Commonwealth are much better for the improvements we have made in public education,” Lewis said. “However, as of late, we have made little progress."
According to the news release, socioeconomic factors aren't always a credible predictor for a state's academic performance. Florida ranked 43rd in family income but ninth for fourth-grade reading achievement.
Kentucky ranks 41st in family income, but 22nd in fourth-grade reading.
Improvements in education takes everybody from parents, to students, to teachers, to communities. While some strides have been made, the need for even more improvement is evident. It takes time and some serious investment but the children in our state deserve the best we can give them.
Kentucky isn’t there yet, but positive signs are showing up.