Making the grade: Md. schools ranked 1st in nation again

BALTIMORE (AP) -{ }Maryland public schools have been ranked first in the nation for the fourth year in a row by Education Week, a leading education publication.{ }

Education Week gave the state an overall letter grade of a B+ in its annual report, which analyzes state education policies and student achievement. Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia followed Maryland with a B average.

The District of Columbia had a C- average. Chris Swanson, vice president of editorial projects at Education Week, says Maryland "is an example of an all-around strong performer."

Maryland got its best grade for its early education programs and preparing students for college and jobs after graduation.

The rankings by Education Week have been promoted by Gov. Martin O'Malley and others who have pushed for more investment in education.