The Ugly Truth: A State-by-State Snapshot of Education in America
In March 2011, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW) and National Chamber Foundation (NCF) released fact sheets for every state and the District of Columbia comparing the state of K–12 public education across nine categories. The fact sheets give business leaders, parents, community leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders a snapshot of the education landscape in each state—what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s downright ugly. The fact sheets are meant to arm leaders with basic facts and spur them to learn more about what is really happening in their schools and statehouses with respect to K–12 public education. In other words, the fact sheets are meant to fuel change.
In this publication, we have compiled all state fact sheets to provide an easy reference and to give context to each state’s results. The fact sheets have been updated with additional National Assessment of Educational Progress results, information on the adoption of common academic standards in states, and newly released graduation rate data. Taken together, these state profiles paint a broad national portrait of K–12 public education—one that reveals just how much work lies ahead if we are to educate all students well and prepare them for success in work and life.
A brief analysis of state results in each category follows. It is important to emphasize that these state profiles are snapshots that reflect data captured at a point in time. They do not reflect the myriad changes taking place across the country, nor reform efforts under way. While it is beyond the scope of this project to document such activities and advances, we have chosen to highlight promising policy developments in a few leading states.
View the report in an animated page flip format or download the pdf below.