ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Title lost. The five-year No.1  education ranking for Maryland schools is over. The national magazine that ranks districts is changing the way it selects the best schools.

Gigi Barnett explains why state school leaders say Maryland’s top spot still stands.

Five years in a row, Maryland touted the top spot in education: No. 1.

But that coveted ranking is going away.

The prestigious national magazine “Education Week” that numbered schools says this year instead of ranking them best to worst, it’s only passing out letter grades.

In the past, Maryland had some stiff competition from Massachusetts. Now, the states are neck-and-neck.

But for State School Superintendent Lillian Lowery, the bragging rights still stand.

“We are number one. We are the highest-performing state. We still have a lot of work to do. We are technically and in all other ways No. 1,” Lowery said.

That’s because in all of the categories used to rank districts, like student achievement, Maryland received a “B” — no other state earned higher.

And parents say they’re not concerned about the tossed title.

“I think they’re doing a great job here,” said Mary Veira, parent.

“It sounds like a technical issue. It sounds as if they just changed some type of ranking for some bizarre reason, and I don’t think it has any real validity at all,” said Steve Nishiura, parent.

Actually, there is a reason for the rankings change this year. “Education Week” says it dropped some of the tough categories it used to evaluate schools because they just aren’t relevant anymore. In addition, Census data, which helps the magazine judge each district, came out late this year because of the government shutdown.

“Education Week” hasn’t decided if it will pick up state-by-state rankings next year.

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