Dick Uliano, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - D.C. public schools often draw more criticism from parents and educators than Maryland and Virginia public schools, but when it comes to reform, it's D.C. schools that are rated on top.
Maryland scored a D+, Virginia scored a D- and the District scored a C+ in report cards issued by StudentsFirst, a Sacramento, Calif.-based group devoted to school reform and headed by former D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee.
The group's report card measures whether states are doing enough to meet objectives, including routinely evaluating teachers, paying rewards for high performance and reforming teacher pension programs. The group also judges states over whether they allow the expansion of charter schools, which affects their grade positively.
There are more charter schools in D.C. than in Maryland and Virginia combined.
The District of Columbia Public Charter School Board says there are 57 charter schools operating on 102 campuses across the city. There are just 51 charter schools in Maryland, according to the Maryland State Department of Education and just four in Virginia, according to the Virginia Department of Education.
Although Maryland and Virginia get poor grades while D.C. gets a fair grade, their report cards are far better than a dozen states given failing grades.
By the group's measure, school reform has a long way to go in the United States -- no state received an A.
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