Published Online: January 3, 2006

Alabama's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 1,389
Public school teachers 58,070
Pre-K-12 students 731,220
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $4.7 billion
Minority students 40.1%
Children in poverty 23%
Students with disabilities 16.8%
English-language learners 1.5%

Summary of Grades

Alabama scores above average for three of the four graded categories of education policy in Quality Counts.

In standards and accountability, there is room for the state to ratchet up its efforts related to standards and assessment. However, Alabama receives full credit for its accountability indicators. For example, the state sanctions and provides assistance to all lowperforming schools (not just those that receive federal Title I money), and provides rewards to high-performing or improving schools.

In teacher quality, Alabama scores points for setting high standards for the education and qualifications of beginning teachers. The state also requires aspiring middle and high school teachers to pass subject-knowledge tests, but does not require performance assessments, such as portfolios, for teachers to earn a second-stage certification. Alabama holds teacher education institutions accountable for teacher quality in a number of ways.

The state does not fare as well in school climate, mostly because it lags behind other states on measures of parent involvement and is one of the few states that do not have public school open-enrollment programs or state laws allowing charter schools.

Alabama performs slightly better than average in the resource equity category. Its score on the coefficient-of-variation indicator is among the best in the nation, indicating relatively little disparity in funding levels across school districts in the state.

State Policy Report Card
Alabama Avg. State Score
Standards and accountability B B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality B C+
School climate C- C+
Resource equity C+ C
Overall Grade C+ C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 31.67 40
Assessment 22.27 30
School accountability 30 30
84 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 32.9 35
Teacher assessment 21.3 30
Professional support and training 15 20
Accountability for teacher quality 13.65 15
83 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 9.17 15
School safety 16.75 20
Parent involvement 7.5 15
Choice and autonomy 10 20
Class size 8.33 10
School size 7.83 10
School facilities 10 10
70 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 22.67 33.3
McLoone Index 27.33 33.3
Coefficient of variation 28.33 33.3
78 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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