Education Week magazine has named the Maryland public school system the nation's best for the third year in a row.
Maryland received 87.5 points, while Virginia placed fourth in the country, with a "B-" and 81.8 points, and the District placed a D+ with 69.1 points. The U.S. average was 76.3, or a "C."
High-achieving Montgomery County has been long divided into "red zones" and "green zones" where income level and performance tend to go hand-in-hand, and Prince George's County struggled to serve its poorer students as well.
But on the whole, Maryland's clearly doing something right, as Montgomery swept up national awards and Gov. Martin O'Malley froze public college tuition and never cut a cent from education funding (although he's considering it for next budget cycle).
Here's what O'Malley had to say about the three-year sweep:
“Today, Education Week Magazine, for the third straight year, has ranked Maryland the number one public school system in America. Even during these difficult economic times, we’ve worked with students, teachers and parents to continually improve and reform our public education system. Since we received this same distinction last year, Maryland has begun integrating our data systems to better track student progress, and has won President Obama’s Race to the Top competition to continually improve our school system, recruit and retain the nation’s best teachers, and turn around low performing schools. “In this changing new economy we are in a fight for our children’s future. In this fight, there will be some states that lose, and some states that win. For Maryland to win we must move forward by creating and saving jobs through innovation, and that includes protecting our best-in-the-nation public school system. We must also be willing to continue making tough choices so that we can protect our shared priorities; priorities that will allow us to make this new economy ours.”