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24/7 Wall St.: States with the Best and Worst Schools

2 of 12

The Worst School Systems

5. Alaska
State score: 71.0 (tied-4th highest)
Overall state grade: C-
High school graduation rate: 69.3% (12th lowest)
Per pupil expenditure: $16,675 (3rd highest)

Alaska is one of four states to receive a D- for its standards in the teaching profession, the lowest grade given out in this category. Alaska is one of just a handful of states that lacks teacher reciprocity with other states, making it difficult to recruit talent into the state from other areas. In November, Governor Sean Parnell told the Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development he wanted it to adopt higher performance standards for teachers. Parnell also told the board he wanted teacher evaluations to be more closely connected to student performance. In 2009 only 37.6% of those ages 18 to 24 were enrolled in postsecondary education or had a degree, the lowest percentage of all states. The good news for Alaska is that it received better marks for its handling of education finances compared to most states. The state received a score of B-, ranking 13th of 50 states. This was better than all states within the bottom 10 overall.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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