Kentuckians heard it until it came out of their ears. The 2013 edition of Education Week newspaper’s annual Quality Counts report dubiously ranked Kentucky’s education at 10th best in the nation.
We heard this 10th place stuff from major newspapers.
We heard it from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
We heard it from the Kentucky Department of Education.
And, yes, we heard it from the governor’s office, too.
The Bluegrass Institute didn’t buy this nonsense, of course, and spent some time pointing out the numerous problems in the way Quality Counts develops its rankings (see a few examples here here, here, here and here), but that didn’t stop the state’s education boosters from blindly parroting this dubious statistic again and again.
So, while we have not bought into Quality Counts, the boosters have.
That makes the new Quality Counts 2015 ranking for Kentucky their real problem. You see, Kentucky only got a 29th place ranking this time, which is probably still too high because Quality Counts continues to base part of their ranking on an incomplete analysis of scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). That flawed NAEP analysis is biased in Kentucky’s favor.
Anyway, to repeat, the Bluegrass Institute has always had a lot of reservations about Quality Counts. But, we were not running around parroting the 2013 nonsense as if it was the golden truth.
So, now we don’t have to explain how Kentucky’s ranking tanked so dramatically in 2015, either. But, I’ll bet a lot more people will start to understand that Quality Counts might not be such a great report despite all the things they said back in 2013.