By Marianne Lombardo
Education Week’s annual Quality Counts Report explores different themes throughout the years – such as standards, teaching, early childhood, special education, finance, globalization, and discipline.
The 20th edition, Quality Counts 2016, “Called to Account: New Directions in School Accountability”, takes a deep look at education accountability, an extremely important topic as the nation transitions to new accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act.
- Examines changes in student demographics and achievement since 2003.
- Grades the states by computing a Chance-for-Success Index, a K-12 Achievement Index, and a school finance analysis for each state, and
- Explores changes in accountability systems we’ll see with the new federal law, where having good data to compare states will be more important than ever.
In a nutshell:
- The student population became more racially and ethnically diverse and more economically disadvantaged;
- Achievement levels for all demographic groups rose slowly over time;
- Achievement gaps between low-income students and their more advantaged peers increased slightly (about 4 percentage points);
- Achievement gaps between black students and their white peers stayed roughly the same;
- Achievement gaps between American Indian and Latino students, and their White, non-Hispanic peers decreased by roughly 50%;
- Massachusetts and other Northeastern states rank high, whereas southern and southwestern states tend to rate lower; and
- DC improved more than any of the 50 states.