Missouri ranks 41st in Education Week rankings

Education Week gave Missouri public schools a C rating.

Missouriâ??s public schools are 41st in the country in Education Week's annual rankings.

The publication released its 2013 "Quality Counts" rankings Thursday.

Missouriâ??s overall grade was a C, up slightly from last year's grade of C-.

However, in 2011 the Show-Me state got a C ranking and was 38th in the country.

Education commissioner Chris Nicastro said in a news release that she's pleased to see Missouriâ??s grade inching higher. But she said the state must make greater strides in providing a quality education for all students.

The report examines a number of factors, including elementary reading scores, high school graduation rates, college completion rates and per-student education spending.

Maryland received the highest score in the survey, followed by Massachusetts, New York and Virginia.

Earlier in January, an education advocacy group was critical of Missouriâ??s policies for its schools in a report.

Students-First gave Missouri schools an overall grade of D-.

Students-First said they think the state should require school districts to make teacher effectiveness the driving factor in decisions about pay, tenure and layoffs.

Those are items that politicians said are on the agenda for the Missouri legislature's 2013 session.

"Money is definitely not the answer to public education success in our state,â?? Missouri House Speaker Elect Tim Jones said in December. â??We've poured millions, if not billions, of dollars into the public education system over the last several decades. Results have not been commensurate with that extra investment.â??

Last year, legislation reforming tenure and teacher performance evaluation failed to clear the legislature.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)