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Two Reports Differ on Alabama Education

By Alabama Public Radio

Montgomery, AL – A national ranking says Alabama is one of the top-ranked states in academic standards. State Superintendent of Education Joe Morton says the report shows that schools are working to increase accountability and standards in both educators and the curriculum. The Fordham Foundation says Alabama is only one of five states to earn an "A" for its English standards and one of only three to receive a "B" for standards in math. The state's overall grade point average of 3.64 was also the third best in the United States. Meanwhile, another education report says the state doesn't fare so well. The report by Education Week ranks Alabama 43 in the nation in per-pupil spending. The national education publication says the state spends more than $6,700 per student. But state officials say that number is up 2.4 percent from 2001. Officials also say while the state does spend less per pupil than most others do, it also dedicates almost four percent of its total taxable resources to education. That amount is the same as the national average. The $6,700 includes federal, state and local money that's spent on the day-to-day operation of schools. The report also ranks Alabama schools low in parental involvement, efforts to improve teacher quality and fairness in state distribution of school funds.

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