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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.

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