Quality Counts against poorer states

Guest Blogger

This post is from guest blogger??Marci Kanstoroom, Fordham's Senior Editor and Education Next's Executive Editor.

As Emmy mentioned earlier, Ed Week released??Quality Counts 2010 this morning. The annual report card is meant to grade states on their education policies and performance. Overall grades are based on sub-grades, which are assigned in six areas. One of those six areas, the Chance-for-Success Index, was bashed in an article in Education Next earlier this week.

That article, "Quality Counts and the Chance-for-Success Index," by Macke Raymond and her colleagues at CREDO, noted that grades on the Chance-for-Success Index are strongly influenced by measures of family income and the level of education achieved by parents living in a state (variables included in the index). So while states tend to interpret their grades as measures of the quality of their schools, the grades don't really capture the contribution of the state's schools to the success of its young people; instead, they reflect how wealthy the state is.

Raymond and her CREDO colleagues re-calculated the Chance-for-Success index for 2009, leaving out the family background variables, and found that state rankings changed substantially. Hawaii, Rhode Island, Indiana, Alaska, Nebraska, and North Dakota all dropped significantly. Florida, Texas, Maine, Idaho, Arkansas, and Mississippi all gained. Take look for yourself here.

--Marci Kanstoroom

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