Maryland's place on a national ranking of state public schools fell once again this year from fourth to fifth place.
Education Week, the national newspaper that ranks state education systems based on statistical information, placed the state behind Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont and New Hampshire on its Quality Counts report which was released Wednesday.
From 2009 through 2013, Maryland held first place in the rankings - a record cited frequently by politicians, business leaders and others looking to attract investment and families to the state. In 2014, Education Week did not rank states. In 2015, the state's place fell after the ranking system changed.
This year the state earned an overall B grade, compared to the national average of C. Maryland got below average grades for its wide gaps in achievement between low-income students and their more affluent peers. On that measure alone, the state was ranked 42nd in the nation.
The state still remains one of a small group of states that are tops in nearly all the categories that goes into the ranking, including the chance a child has for success, academic achievement and school finance.