Massachusetts spends a lot of money on public elementary and secondary education. The recent austerity budget passed by the legislature protects state funding of schools, instead cutting much muscle (and quite a large amount of fat).
The American Institutes for Research just published a study that suggests this is a good funding priority:
How can I be happy about Bs? The highest ranked unit in the world, Hong Kong, achieved only a B+. Of course I'd like to beat that. But we're still waaay ahead of the rest of the U.S. and among the elite of the world.
The report, issued today by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), based on international performance benchmarks in math for 4th and 8th grade students concluded that only 4th graders in a handful of states – among them Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Kansas and Vermont – are learning at B or B- levels when compared with students internationally.
At Grade 8, only Massachusetts achieves a grade of B.
I expect to blog on this good news a bit more as I read the rest of the study.