The Education Week Research Center recently released its nationwide results of the Quality Counts 2019 report card. The report card gave Kentucky a grade of C-, which is below the national average of a C grade.

The report uses 39 indicators to rate a range of school finance, academic achievement and socioeconomic factors, according to a release from the Kentucky Department of Education.

"The 2019 Quality Counts rankings confirm much of what we already know about Kentucky's public education system," said Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne D. Lewis in a news release. "I believe an overall grade of C- accurately reflects both our system's strengths and its areas for improvement."

Of the 50 states, Kentucky came in 36th place with a final grade of 72.4%. The state ranked 31st in the school finance ranking.

"We continue to celebrate Kentucky's climb to the middle of the pack on most education indicators," Lewis said. "Our children and our Commonwealth are much better for the improvements we have made in public education. However, as of late, we have made little progress."

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According to the news release, socioeconomic factors aren't always a credible predictor for a state's academic performance. Florida ranked 43rd in family income but ninth for fourth-grade reading achievement. Kentucky ranks 41st in family income, but 22nd in fourth-grade reading.

Lewis said that it will take a "combination of increased strategic investment in classrooms and improved education policy, leadership and instructional practice" to improve the state's rankings.

"In sum, our system has come a long way from where it was just a few generations ago, thanks in large part to the parents, students, leaders, educators and communities that fought so hard for improvement," Lewis said. "However, our system is not nearly what our children and our Commonwealth need it to be."

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