In 2006, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce began to dig deeper into the nation's educational effectiveness by grading all 50 states and Washington, D.C., on their K-12 school systems. The organization's goal was to identify both leaders and laggards in the tough business of school performance. Toward this end, it assembled a diverse group of experts and partners to look at education performance and reform from a business perspective, including an emphasis on coupling academic outcomes with attention to key business metrics: innovation, flexibility, management, and fiscal prudence. Educators and policy makers interested in the results can view these state-by-state...

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