Quality Counts 2016: Report and Rankings
This is the 20th edition of Education Week’s Quality Counts report – Called to Account: New Directions in School Accountability – which focuses on how new state and federal policies have transformed assessment and accountability for schools. Quality Counts includes reports and articles written by Education Week’s Research Center and journalists. The reports consist of nation and state report cards based on three indices developed by the Education Week Research Center, each on a scale from 0-100:
Chance-for-Success Index: Provides a cradle-to-career perspective on the role that education plays in promoting positive outcomes throughout a person’s life.
K-12 Achievement Index: Rates states on current academic performance, change over time, and poverty-based gaps.
School Finance Analysis: Assesses spending patterns and equity.
Overall nation and state grades are the averages of the three indices. For 2016, the nation’s overall grade was a C (74.4 out of 100), which was up slightly from 74.3 in 2015. Massachusetts finished at the top, earning a grade of a B+ (86.8), and Nevada ranked last in the 2016 report with a grade of D (65.2). Each state’s report card breaks down the ratings with short explanations of how the scores were calculated. In addition to the report cards, which are the primary purpose of the Quality Counts report, the webpage also has articles and resources that a look back at the challenges and progress the nation has made in the past 20 years.
The Quality Counts webpage provides a plethora of information, from the state report cards to descriptions of the analysis and additional background articles. However, the highlights of the Quality Counts webpage are the state-of-the-states report cards, which provide easy-to-use summaries of how states are performing based on a broad set of educational indices. By giving each state a grade and rank (among the 50 states), readers can quickly gauge how each state performed compared to other states. Additionally, the interactive maps and other graphics aid in accessing the information from this website. The state report cards are informative resources on accountability information for regional centers’ technical assistance providers and state education agency personnel. Note that the state report cards and additional articles and resources are free; however, Education Week limits the number of views a reader has per month if s/he is not a paid subscriber.