A six-year Maryland effort to spend billions of dollars more on public education has led to major performance gains that have helped make the state's schools the best in the country, according to a pair of independent reports released yesterday.
A three-year study of the Bridge to Excellence Act came as Editorial Projects in Education, which publishes the trade newspaper Education Week, announced the results of its annual survey of state school systems. In the latter report, Maryland was ranked first among the 50 states and the District. Last year, the state ranked third.
"I'm elated," Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) said at an Annapolis High School event to promote the two reports. "We now have the No. 1, the best public school system in the United States of America, and we need to do our best to defend that."
The Education Week study evaluated school systems on several criteria, including accountability standards, college readiness of high school graduates, spending and equity. Virginia ranked fourth and the District last.