The Hechinger Report is a national nonprofit newsroom that reports on one topic: education. Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get stories like this delivered directly to your inbox.

Mississippi ranked 48th — ahead of only Idaho, Nevada, and South Dakota — in an annual ranking of states’ educational performance and policy.

Quality Counts 2013, released by the weekly newspaper Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, grades states on a variety of indicators, including school spending, overall student performance, and college readiness.

It didn’t come as a surprise to most policy makers and educators that Mississippi posted one of the nation’s lowest overall scores, a C-minus, or 71 on a 100-point scale. As the Hechinger Report has reported this school year, Mississippi routinely rates low when it comes to child welfare and education indicators, despite some promising programs and pockets of success.

Mississippi fared particularly poorly in three categories: K-12 achievement, support capacity for teachers, and education spending. However, the state earned an A for its standards and accountability structures, which include issuing annual letter grades to school districts. Districts that repeatedly perform poorly can be taken over by the state.

Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York were the top three rated states in the annual survey.

The Hechinger Report provides in-depth, fact-based, unbiased reporting on education that is free to all readers. But that doesn't mean it's free to produce. Our work keeps educators and the public informed about pressing issues at schools and on campuses throughout the country. We tell the whole story, even when the details are inconvenient. Help us keep doing that.

Join us today.

Sarah Carr edits stories and contributes reporting from New England. From 2011 to 2014, she oversaw Hechinger's coverage of New Orleans and Mississippi. Since then, she has led an investigative education...

Letters to the Editor

At The Hechinger Report, we publish thoughtful letters from readers that contribute to the ongoing discussion about the education topics we cover. Please read our guidelines for more information.

By submitting your name, you grant us permission to publish it with your letter. We will never publish your email. You must fill out all fields to submit a letter.

Your email address will not be published.