Press Release

New Report Ranks States “A”-“F” Grades Based on Education Policies

New Report Ranks States “A”-“F” Grades Based on Education Policies

Indiana leads the states while North Dakota ranks last

Individual state data available at

Arlington, VA (October 29, 2014)– Indiana earned a “B+,” the highest grade out of all the states for education policies, while North Dakota earned the lowest grade of a “D,” according to the newest edition of the Report Card on American Education. The report, released this week by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), grades states’ education policies based on six areas: state academic standards, charter school laws, home school regulations, private school choice programs, overall teacher quality and policies, and digital learning opportunities.

“Freedom in education is important to student learning, and states with policies that allow flexibility and choice within their educational systems often see better student performance,” said Lindsay Russell, director of the ALEC Task Force on Education. “A one-size-fits-all approach to education does not take into account the needs of individual students or unique state populations. The overall goal in grading states by their policies is to best reflect how each state is striving to provide high-quality education options to every student. The Report Card on American Education supports teachers, policymakers and parents in determining what policies fit their distinct needs.”

In addition to ranking first in education policies, Indiana also ranked well academically, placing fourth overall in the federal National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) rankings. Indiana’s average per-pupil cost is $11,583 annually – less, for instance, than neighboring Illinois, which spent an average of $13,848 per student, only to place 30th among the states in NAEP scores.


North Dakota, the lowest performing state, received a “D” and spends an average of $13,118 per-pupil annually. Despite its relatively high per-pupil spending, North Dakota placed 38th among the states in NAEP performance and received low marks on the six policy areas graded in the Report Card on American Education.

“Educational freedom matters, and choice in school policy results in better teachers, higher-performing schools and better educational outcomes,” said Russell. “In localities where outcomes are subpar, students who have access to educational options – such as public charter schools, private charter schools, homeschools and digital learning opportunities – have a better chance to succeed.”

To learn more about the methodology of the state rankings, and to see individual state data, visit

Contact: Molly Fuhs


The American Legislative Exchange Council is the largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators in the United States. The Council is governed by state legislators who comprise the Board of Directors and is advised by the Private Enterprise Advisory Council, a group of private, foundation and think tank members. For more information about the American Legislative Exchange Council, please visit: