Tennessee Ranks 23rd on ALEC’s New Education Report Card


Tennessee ranks 23rd this year on the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Annual Report Card on American Education.

Speaking of the number 23, this is also ALEC’s 23rd Annual Report Card.

The Arlington, Virginia-based ALEC releases the report card each year, which ranks states on their current K-12 education and policy performance.

ALEC Director of the Education and Workforce Development Task Force Scott Kaufman authored this year’s edition.

The ALEC grades assigned are an assessment of state education policy across six factors:

• State Academic Standards
• Charter Schools
• Homeschool Regulation Burden
• Teacher Quality and Policies
• Digital Learning
• Private School Choice Programs

“The key takeaways this year are that not much has happened this year versus last year,” Kauffman told The Tennessee Star this week.

“The top five states from last year are still the top five — Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Georgia, and the District of Columbia.”

According to the report, Tennessee got a C grade. The state spent $8,876 per student in 2017, but it spent $9,105 in 2015, the report said.

Also, Tennessee derived 48.4 percent of its education spending from state money, 39.8 percent from local money, and 11.8 percent from federal funds, according to the report.

School choice ranking methodology includes an assessment of the size and scope of the school, purchasing power, and flexibility and freedom. This year’s Report Card focuses on the non-academic effects of educational choice for the purpose of outlining the positive and long-term impact school choice has on families and children, according to a press release.

“The top five states or districts highlighted in this report are Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Georgia and the District of Columbia. The five worst are Nebraska, North Dakota, Hawaii, South Dakota and Alaska,” according to ALEC’s press release.

“All five of these have remained at the bottom for more than three years. Alaska has recently gone from bad to worse in the key factors determining education success: dropping from an ALEC GPA grade of 2.67 in 2011, to 1.67 in 2016 and now to 1.33 in 2018.”

The American Legislative Exchange Council is the country’s oldest and largest membership organization of state legislators in the country.

“Ensuring that the next generation receives a quality education of their own choosing does not only improve outcomes, reduce criminality, and give students a greater sense of self-worth, it helps form more well-rounded citizens,” Kaufman said in the press release.

“This has been shown in study after study and our very republic depends on it.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Classroom” by the U.S. Department of Education. CC BY 2.0.








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