“The report card is in, and the grade is an A+!” Governor Reeves said.

The Heritage Foundation released its 2022 edition of the Education Freedom Report Card to serve as a guide for assessing education freedom in each state.

The report card measures four broad categories: School Choice, Transparency, Regulatory Freedom, and Spending.  The categories encompass more than two dozen discrete factors.

“This report card sets a high bar for achieving and maintaining education freedom in the states,” the Heritage Foundation said. “Our goal is that this annual ranking of states will not only inform parents and policymakers of what their states do well and where they need improvement, but that it will spur necessary and lasting reform.”

In the 2022 edition of the Education Freedom Report Card, Mississippi is ranked 6th in the nation for education freedom.

“The report card is in, and the grade is an A+!” Governor Reeves tweeted on Friday. “On top of all-time high graduation rates that are above the national average, Mississippi is 6th in the nation for education freedom according to Heritage.”

Mississippi ranked at the top of the list – first overall among the states – in regulatory freedom.  A solid 40 percent of teachers in the state found their way to the classroom through alternative teacher certification options, and Mississippi allows full reciprocity of teacher licensure.  Heritage reported that no school districts in the Magnolia State employ a “chief diversity officer,” and Mississippi does not use Common Core–aligned tests.

“Mississippi can maintain its high regulatory ranking score by continuing to foster alternative pathways to the classroom for aspiring teachers, or by eliminating teacher certification requirements altogether,” the report stated.

As for school choice, Mississippi ranked 13th overall.  Heritage said Mississippi does well in allowing parents to choose among private and district schools but could do more to expand education choice.  Mississippi offers K–12 education savings accounts that parents can use to customize the education of their eligible children, and generally respects the autonomy of homeschooling families.

“Mississippi could improve its ranking by expanding eligibility for, and boosting participation in, its existing private-school-choice program, making it easier for more charter schools to open and operate, and giving families more choices among traditional public schools,” Heritage noted.

In the categories of transparency and spending, Mississippi ranked 30th and 23rd, respectively.

You can read the report here.