Thursday, February 5, 2009

Missouri Ranking Below What It Should Be

From the Office of Representative Timothy Jones, 89th District:

Missouri ranks 28th in National Education Study as Students Fail Key Testing Measures

State legislative group targets new ways to fund education given tough economic times and state budget woes

Jefferson City, MO—A majority of students in Missouri public schools failed to meet proficiency levels in fourth- and eighth-grade mathematics and reading, and SAT and ACT scores stagnated, despite decades-long increases in public spending, according to a new report by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Using nationally recognized test results, the ALEC Report Card on American Education ranked the 50 states and the District of Columbia accordingly, one being the best and 51 the worst. Minnesota placed first in the unique ranking, Washington, D.C. last, and Missouri 28.

“Missouri students are barely above the national average in test scores, and they are well below national proficiency levels. This is unacceptable,” said Rep. Tim Jones (R-District 89). “The high cost and lackluster results of Missouri public education can be curbed by common-sense reforms rooted in accountability and choice. Such programs have proved cost-effective and successful in states across the country and popular among parents and students.”

The report also provides extensive data from 1987-88 to 2007-08 on state and federal funding, school resources, graduation rates, GED completion rates, and school-choice initiatives, including tax credit, scholarship, and charter school programs—alternatives to public education ALEC supports. With the federal administration expected to ramp up education spending through a host of new public programs, the evidence is undeniably clear: Further government funding does not produce corresponding results.

“If legislators are concerned about funding public education, not to worry,” said Jeff W. Reed, director of ALEC’s Education Task Force. “States across the country have proved that through education reforms rooted in freedom and accountability, more can be done with less. But it is up to state lawmakers to give parents and students the opportunity to choose what works best for them in securing a promising future.”

About ALEC

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, individual membership organization of state legislators, with more than 2,000 state legislative members from all 50 states, and 78 former members serving in the U.S. Congress. Its mission is to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, individual liberty, and limited government.

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