Maryland dropped from 1st to 6th place nationally

A national report card compiled by Education Week Magazine in a list of the nation's high-achieving school systems is giving Maryland a grade of B minus. That's down from just a year ago. 

Maryland was knocked from the No. 5 position down to No. 6. This after five straight years of holding down the #1 ranking. The magazine said the nation as a whole received a grade of C.

Maryland received an overall score of B minus or 82.4 percent. The state's lower grade is tied in part to school finance. It received a B in this category based on an analysis that evaluates spending on education and equity in funding across districts within the state. 

The less-than-stellar report card is being made public just one day after Gov. Larry Hogan's promise to increase education spending in next year's budget. 

"In this budget, we put a record $6.5 billion into K-12 education, which is above and beyond the spending formula being proposed by Legislature," Hogan said. 

The Maryland State Education Association said the governor deserves some of the blame for the low ranking and is calling on him to take the lead in improving public education. 

"The governor can see where the deficits are and he has the ability to make a difference, and our students and educators are waiting for him to come through," said Cheryl Bost, MSEA vice president. 

Besides being graded on how much it spends, for the second year in a row, Maryland received a C plus for its performance in the category of K-12 education. 

Even though its work is not finished, The Kirwan Commission, formed to examine school funding, has been told by a consultant that state and local governments need to increase education funding by at least $3 billion. 

Massachusetts was ranked No. 1 in the national school survey, followed by New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut.