The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, recently released the fourth edition of its Leaders & Laggards series, A State-by-State Report Card on K–12 Educational Effectiveness. The report, developed in collaboration with the American Enterprise Institute, evaluates educational effectiveness in 11 categories: academic achievement; academic achievement for low-income and minority students; return on investment; truth in advertising: student proficiency; postsecondary and workforce readiness; 21st century teaching force; parental options; data quality; technology; international competitiveness; and fiscal responsibility.

The report finds that New York performs well in areas such as international competitiveness and providing parents with educational options for their children. However, the state is in the middle when it comes to academic achievement and academic achievement for low-income and minority students.

“That New York is doing better than many other states doesn’t mean the business community can step back our reform efforts,” said Heather C. Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State. “The state’s own data reveal that one-third of New York high school students graduate unprepared for college or a career, and there is real concern in the business community that New York’s growing STEM economy will be stifled if we do not find innovative new ways to help schools better prepare graduates to fill good paying middle-skill jobs.”

The Leaders & Laggards report also gives New York high marks on fiscal responsibility. Eighty-seven percent of the state’s pension is funded, and the state’s most recent pension contribution was 100%. However, improvement is needed in areas such as return on investment and technology, as the state has not invested in the necessary infrastructure to support digital learning in schools and students have limited access to high-quality digital learning options.

“In a 21st century global economy, it is imperative that all students receive the high-quality education necessary to open the doors of opportunity and put them on the road to lifelong success,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation President John McKernan Jr. “This report assesses how states are doing in a number of areas critical to ensuring that all students have access to a quality education and that our country can continue to grow economically.”

The Chamber is urging policymakers, the business community, and educators to craft a reform agenda that demands high academic standards, promotes transparency, provides options for families, and offers every child a high-quality education.

To view the report, visit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Leaders & Laggards website.

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.