Mississippi earns a shameful number of F's on latest report card


In Leaders & Laggards, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce examination of public schools, Mississippi earned the kind of report card that kids would be hesitant to show their parents.

The state received F's in academic achievement, academic achievement for low-income and minority students, postsecondary and workforce readiness, return on investment, technology and international competitiveness. It's best grade, a B, was in data quality.

"Mississippi earns a good grade collecting and reporting high-quality education data," the chamber wrote in its report.

The state received C's in truth in advertising: student proficiency; 21st century teaching force; parental options; and fiscal responsibility.

On truth in advertising, the chamber wrote, "Mississippi posts mediocre marks on the credibility of its student proficiency scores."

On international competition: 'A dismal 16 percent of students are proficient in reading and math compared with an international standard."

The state has backslid considerably when it comes to low-income and minority students. It received a B in that category in 2007.

"Only 11 percent of African-American fourth-graders score at or above the proficient level on the NAEP reading exam," the chamber wrote.

Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Minnesota, New Jersey, Vermont, Colorado, Washington, Maryland, Connecticut and Pennsylvania all received an overall grade of A.

South Carolina, Oklahoma, Nevada, California, West Virginia, Alabama, New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi and the District of Columbia received F's.