This year’s Quality Counts evaluates state efforts to create education systems whose curricula are aligned from preschool to adulthood. The result is a host of state rankings, many of them tied to the report’s Chance-for-Success Index, which includes 13 indicators spanning a student’s lifetime.

Ohio earns a “C”, ranking 27th overall on the index. High marks were awarded in K-12 academic achievement (the Buckeye State ranked 10th among the 50 states), mainly due to fourth- and eighth-graders’ achievement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)--as well as the state’s average graduation rate, 76.5 percent, as computed by EPE. And Ohio’s 25 percentage point gap in performance between poor students and their more affluent peers on the 2005 eighth-grade NAEP math assessment was slightly smaller than (but equally appalling as) the national average of 26.7.

Cited areas of weakness include the state’s achievement gap, early-childhood education and adult educational attainment. Ohio ranked 37th for its percentage of three- and four-year olds enrolled in preschools (40.6 percent), and 48th for the percentage of eligible students enrolled in kindergarten (69.7 percent). Meanwhile, just 33.4 percent of Ohioans hold a two- or four-year degree, while only 49.2 percent of adults earn an income at or above the national median.

Absent from the report is some inkling as to where states should score on such indicators (perhaps that’s asking for too much). Yet EPE’s report offers a useful snapshot of the educational and financial well-being of Ohio’s (and other states’) citizens, one that should hopefully urge state policymakers to push Ohio beyond mediocrity--and on to greater educational attainment and increased economic prosperity.

The report is available here

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