Students attending Minnesota Public Schools earned higher grades on their report cards than any other state in the nation, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council.
The ALEC is the nation's largest bipartisan membership association of state legislators and it recently released its sixth edition of the Report Card on American Education: A State by State Analysis, 1979-1999.
"This simply suggests what people expect," said Jerry Walseth, superintendent of the Brainerd School District. "With the talented teachers and students it doesn't surprise me (that the state ranked the best)."
Walseth said the partnership between teachers, students and parents is strong.
The ALEC used more than 100 measures of educational resources and student achievement. The study analyzed the latest data for public elementary and secondary schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It also showed no evident correlation between conventional measures of educational inputs, such as expenditures per pupil and teacher salaries and educational outputs, such as average scores on standardized tests.
Throughout the United States, per pupil expenditures have increased by more than 23 percent over the past two decades, yet 67 percent of the eighth-graders are performing below the proficiency level in reading, the ALEC report said.
Minnesota, Montana and Iowa had the highest performing schools while Mississippi, the District of Columbia and Louisiana ranked at the bottom of the scale. In 1997-98, the District of Columbia spent about $8,700 in per pupil expenditures and Minnesota spent an estimated $6,200.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.