Gov. Mike Beebe announced Thursday (Jan. 12) that Arkansas's public education system placed fifth nationally in the 2012 Quality Counts analysis by Education Week, a nationally respected journal of education policy.
"I am excited by Arkansas's continued rise in the Education Week rankings, but there is more hard work ahead of us," Beebe said in the statement from the Arkansas Department of Education. "We've come a long way as a state in our pursuit of academic excellence, and we'll continue making improvements that help our students and our state's future."
Arkansas ranked sixth last year and 10th the previous two years in Education Week's annual calculations. The analysis ranks states on six education policy and performance categories.
Overall, Arkansas scored 81.6, which placed it behind only Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia. Of particular note, Arkansas tied for first with Maryland in the "Transitions and Alignment" category.
Arkansas placed second in the "Teaching Profession" category. It placed sixth in the "Standards, Assessment and Accountability" category. Other categories scored were "School Finance," "K-12 Achievement," and "Chance for Success."
The analysis was compiled by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center. It surveyed the country's chief state school officers on a wide range of programs and policy and then independently evaluated the responses.