1. Florida

Another national organization rates Florida education policy tops

Florida once again leads the National Council on Teacher Quality's ranking of state teacher-related policies. The NCTQ, a non-profit organization funded by groups such as the Gates Foundation, is advised by conservative-leaning policy makers including former Florida education commissioner John Winn.

The group likes initiatives found in Florida's Senate Bill 736. That's evident in the overall list, in which Florida's B -- up from a C in 2009 -- tops the nation, with six other states that implemented several changes in teacher contract, evaluation and other associated rules (Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio) just behind.

"New state policies for identifying effective teachers and exiting ineffective ones contributed to the highest Yearbook grades NCTQ has given to date. Florida, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Tennessee lead the nation on teacher quality policy."

The ratings are based on five broad categories: Delivering Well-Prepared Teachers, Expanding the Pool of Teachers, Identifying Effective Teachers, Retaining Effective Teachers and Exiting Ineffective Teachers. Florida was the only state to earn better than B- in the rating.