school bus

Advocate file photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK

Louisiana public school achievement ranked 49th in a report done by Education Week magazine and released Wednesday.

The 21st annual review, called Quality Counts, rates public school systems nationally in academic achievement, chance for success and financing.

The state is often ranked near the bottom nationally in measurements of public school academic achievement.

The state finished 46th overall and was given a D plus.

The national average is a C.

In the "chance for success" category, the state got a C minus and was rated 47th nationally.

In "finance" the state got a C minus and was ranked 28th overall.

The latest  findings come as state officials are preparing to revamp public school policies to comply with a federal law called the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Sydni Dunn, press secretary for the state Department of Education, said in a prepared statement that the agency "is happy to see that the state's high school graduation gains were reflected in an increased score in that category, just as we are disappointed that stagnating funds in years of growing enrollments have combined to decrease our funding score.'

"Moving forward, we are committed to continually raising the bar for our students, and we're confident we will improve over time," Dunn wrote.

During the period measured – 2002-12 – Louisiana's high school graduation rate rose 7.6 percentage points.

However, the 72 percent rate then was below the 81 percent national average.

Dunn also noted that the NAEP data used this time is the same as the 2016 report since those results are released every other year.

Louisiana's overall score is 68.3 out of 100.

It finished ahead of Oklahoma, Idaho, New Mexico, Mississippi and Nevada in tabulations that also included the District of Columbia.

The national average is 74.2.

Massachusetts finished tops in the nation with a score of 86.5 and a B grade.

In rating academic achievement, the review focused on 18 measures of math and reading performance.

On a key test known as the nation's report card, 29.6 percent of fourth graders scored proficient in math in the most recent snapshot and 17.9 percent of eighth graders did so.

The national averages were 39.4 percent and 32.1 percent respectively.

In 2014, also the latest results available, 7.5 percent of high school students earned college credit through the Advanced Placement program.

The national average is 29.3 percent.

In reading, 28.5 percent of fourth graders were proficient and 23.3 percent of eighth graders.

The national averages are 34.3 percent and 32.7 percent respectively.

The chance for success category rates issues like pre-kindergarten enrollment, college participation and the percentage of adults who earned college degrees.

Education spending is focused on how equitable the dollars are allocated, among other issues.

Follow Will Sentell on Twitter, @WillSentell.