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Cato Institute: Fixing the Bias in Current State K-12 Education Rankings

November 13, 2018

A new ranking of state education systems yields results much different from U.S. News & World Report.

State education rankings published by U.S. News & World Report, Education Week, and others play a prominent role in legislative debate and public discourse concerning education. These rankings are based partly on achievement tests, which measure student learning, and partly on other factors not directly related to student learning.

When achievement tests are used as measures of learning in these conventional rankings, they are aggregated in a way that provides misleading results.

This study measures the efficiency of state systems: performance results for dollars spent (adjusted for the cost of living), for different demographic groups of students.  Southern and Southeastern states do better, and Northeastern states worse, in this ranking system.

Stan Liebowitz is the Ashbel Smith Professor of Finance and Managerial Economics at the University of Texas at Dallas. He is also the director of the Center for Analysis of Property Rights and Innovation at the university.More information here.