Published Online: January 2, 2008
Published in Print: January 10, 2008, as Sources and Notes

Sources and Notes

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CHANCE FOR SUCCESS

Family Income: Percent of dependent children (under age 18) who live in above-low-income families. Low income is defined as 200 percent of the federal poverty level, which depends on the size and composition of the family. EPE Research Center analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 2006.

Parent Education: Percent of dependent children with at least one parent who holds a two- or four-year postsecondary degree. Ibid.

Parental Employment: Percent of dependent children with at least one parent who is steadily employed, defined as working full time (at least 35 hours per week) and year-round (at least 50 weeks during the previous year). Those not in the labor force are excluded from calculations. Active-duty military service is considered participation in the labor force. Ibid.

Linguistic Integration: Percent of dependent children whose parents are fluent speakers of English. Fluency is defined as being a native speaker or speaking the language “very well.” All resident parents must be fluent in English for a family to be considered linguistically integrated. Ibid.

Preschool Enrollment: Percent of 3- and 4- year-olds who are attending preschool. Both public and private education programs are counted. Ibid.

Kindergarten Enrollment: Percent of eligible children attending public or private kindergarten programs. The size of the entering kindergarten cohort is calculated based on the number of 5- and 6-year-olds in a state. Ibid.

Elementary Reading Achievement: Percent of 4th graders in public schools who score at or above the “proficient” level in reading on the 2007 State NAEP assessment. National Assessment of Educational Progress, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, 2007.

Middle School Mathematics Achievement: Percent of 8th graders in public schools who score at or above the “proficient” level in mathematics on the 2007 State NAEP assessment. Ibid.

High School Graduation Rate: Percent of public high school students who graduated on time with a standard diploma for the 2003-04 school year. The graduation rate is calculated using the EPE Research Center’s Cumulative Promotion Index (CPI) formula with data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Common Core of Data (CCD). EPE Research Center, 2007.

Young Adult Education: Percent of young adults (ages 18 to 24) who are either currently enrolled in a postsecondary education program or who have already earned a postsecondary credential. Those still enrolled in high school programs are excluded from the calculation. EPE Research Center analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 2006.

Adult Educational Attainment: Percent of adults (ages 25 to 64) who have earned a postsecondary degree. Calculations include all individuals whose highest level of attained education is an associate’s, bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree. Ibid.

Annual Income: Percent of adults (ages 25 to 64) whose annual personal income reaches or exceeds the national median ($35,549 in July 2006 dollars). Only individuals in the labor force are included in calculations. Ibid.

Steady Employment: Percent of adults (ages 25 to 64) who are employed on a steady basis, defined as working full time (at least 35 hours per week) and year-round (at least 50 weeks during the previous year). Those not in the labor force are excluded from calculations. Active-duty military service is considered participation in the labor force. Ibid.

K-12 ACHIEVEMENT

ACHIEVEMENT LEVEL

NAEP Mathematics 2007 (4th and 8th grades): Percent of public school students who score at or above the “proficient” level in mathematics on the 2007 State NAEP assessment. National Assessment of Educational Progress, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, 2007.

NAEP Reading 2007 (4th and 8th grades): Percent of public school students who score at or above the “proficient” level in reading on the 2007 State NAEP assessment. Ibid.

ACHIEVEMENT GAINS

NAEP Mathematics Change 2003-2007 (4th and 8th grades): Change in NAEP scale scores for public school students between 2003 and 2007. Ibid.

NAEP Reading Change 2003-2007 (4th and 8th grades): Change in NAEP scale scores for public school students between 2003 and 2007. Ibid.

POVERTY GAP

Poverty Gap (4th grade reading and 8th grade math): Scale-score difference in 2007 State NAEP achievement between public school students eligible and noneligible for the National School Lunch Program. Larger values indicate higher performance for noneligible students. Ibid.

Poverty-Gap Change (4th grade reading and 8th grade math): Change in the size of the poverty gap for public school students between 2003 and 2007. Ibid.

ACHIEVING EXCELLENCE

NAEP Mathematics 2007 Percent Advanced (8th grade): Percent of public school students who score at the “advanced” level in mathematics on the 2007 State NAEP assessment. National Assessment of Educational Progress, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, 2007.

NAEP Mathematics Percent Advanced Change 2003-2007 (8th grade): Change in the percent of students scoring at the NAEP “advanced” level in mathematics between 2003 and 2007. Ibid.

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION

High School Graduation Rate: Percent of public high school students who graduated on time with a standard diploma for the 2003-04 school year. The graduation rate is calculated using the EPE Research Center’s Cumulative Promotion Index (CPI) formula with data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Common Core of Data. EPE Research Center, 2007.

Change in Graduation Rate: Change in public high school graduation rate between 2000 and 2004. Ibid.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT

High AP Test Scores: Number of high Advanced Placement test scores (3 or above) per 100 students in grades 11 and 12. Analysis is specific to public school students. EPE Research Center analysis of data from the College Board’s AP Summary Reports and the U.S. Department of Education’s Common Core of Data, 2006.

Change in High AP Scores: Change in the ratio of high Advanced Placement scores for public school students between 2000 and 2006. Ibid.

STANDARDS, ASSESSMENTS,AND ACCOUNTABILITY

STANDARDS

State has adopted standards in the core subjects: EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2007.

State has standards that are clear, specific, and grounded in content: Results are reported by grade level and academic subject area. American Federation of Teachers, unpublished review, October- November 2007.

State has a regular timeline for revising standards: EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2007.

State has supplementary resources or guides for educators that elaborate on official academicstandards documents: Results are reported for states with supplemental resources for all core academic subjects (English, math, science, history/social studies) and with resources for particular student populations (e.g., special education students or English-language learners). Ibid.

ASSESSMENT

Types of test items state uses to measure student performance: For each item type, results are reported by school grade span. EPE Research Center review of testing calendars and other materials from state education agency Web sites, 2007.

Subjects in which state uses assessments aligned to state standards: Results are reported for each core academic-subject area.Ibid.

Vertically Equated Assessments: State tests have been vertically equated in grades 3-8 (2007-08) so that scores for each grade have been placed on a common metric. Results are reported for English/language arts and mathematics. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2007.

State provides educators with formative assessments or item banks linked to state standards: Assessments or test items may be developed by the state or an external organization. Ibid.

SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY

State assigns ratings to all schools based on criteria other than AYP: State has an accountability system that uses ratings based on state-developed criteria, which may or may not also include elements of adequate yearly progress. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2007.

State has a statewide student-identification system: State attaches unique identification codes to individual students for tracking purposes so that individual test-score data can be linked to specific schools or teachers. Data Quality Campaign, 2007.

State provides rewards to high-performing or improving schools: Reward programs may require schools to apply or compete for extra funding or recognition. Rewards to schools do not need to be based on school ratings. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2007.

State provides assistance to low-performing schools: State provides funding or technical assistance to failing or low-performing schools, based on school ratings. Credit is only given for statewide policies that are not limited to Title I schools. Ibid.

State sanctions low-performing schools: State is authorized to apply sanctions to low-performing schools under state law. Credit is only given for statewide policies that are not limited to Title I schools. Ibid.

TRANSITIONS AND ALIGNMENT

EARLY-CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Early-Learning Standards: State has early-learning standards for the 2007-08 school year that describe what preschool students should know and be able to do and has aligned those expectations with academic standards in the elementary grades. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2007.

School-Readiness Definition: State has a formal definition of school readiness for the 2007-08 school year that specifies the characteristics of a child ready to enter school and become a successful student. Ibid.

School-Readiness Assessment: State administers a statewide school-readiness assessment or requires local school districts to assess the readiness of entering students for the 2007-08 school year. Ibid.

Readiness Interventions: State provides students not meeting school-readiness expectations with targeted services that go beyond what is required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, for the 2007-08 school year. Programs that identify children based solely on demographic characteristics do not receive credit. Ibid.

Kindergarten Standards: State has standards describing what kindergarten students should know and be able to do and has aligned those expectations with elementary and secondary academic standards for the 2007-08 school year. Ibid.

COLLEGE READINESS

College-Readiness Definition: State has formal expectations for what students will need to know and be able to do in order to be admitted to the state’s postsecondary institutions and enroll in credit-bearing courses. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2007.

College Prep Required: State requires all students to take courses designed for students bound for four-year colleges or universities in order to receive a standard diploma. States receiving credit have defined a college-preparatory curriculum or identified its components. Ibid.

Course Credits Aligned: State has aligned course-credit requirements for earning the standard high school diploma with requirements for admission to the state’s postsecondary institutions. Ibid.

Aligning High School Assessments: State has aligned the content of high school assessments with academic expectations for two-year and/or four-year colleges and universities. Ibid.

Postsecondary Decisions: State uses results from its standardized high school assessments to determine whether students will be admitted to state universities, be permitted to enroll in credit-bearing college courses in particular academic subjects, or be selected to receive academic scholarships. Ibid.

ECONOMY AND WORKFORCE

Work-Readiness Definition: State has formal expectations for what high school students will need to know and be able to do in order to be prepared for the workplace. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2007.

Career-Tech Diploma: State gives students the option of earning a standard high school diploma with a concentration or endorsement in a career or technical field based upon the completion of a sequence of career-technical coursework. Ibid.

Industry Certification: State offers high school students the option of participating in a career or technical program or pathway that leads to an industry-recognized certificate or license. Ibid.

Portable Credits: State offers high school students the option of participating in a career or technical program or pathway allowing them to earn course credits that will be accepted by programs in the state’s postsecondary education system. Ibid.

THE TEACHING PROFESSION

ACCOUNTABILITY FOR QUALITY

Coursework Requirements for Licensure: To earn an initial license, prospective teachers must have taken substantial formal coursework in subject area(s) taught, corresponding to a major or equivalent. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2007.

Licensure Assessments: Prospective teachers must pass written tests in basic skills, subject-specific knowledge, or subject-specific pedagogy to earn an initial license. Ibid.

Clinical Experiences for License: To earn an initial teacher’s license, candidates from a traditional route must have participated in student teaching or other clinical experiences during their pre-service training. Ibid.

Discouraging Out-of-Field Teaching: State attempts to limit out-of-field teaching by notifying parents of the practice or by placing a ban or cap on the number of out-of-field teachers. States receive credit for statewide policies that are not limited to Title I schools. Ibid.

Evaluation of Teacher Performance: This set of indicators characterizes the states’ policies for evaluating the performance of teachers. Specific policies indicate whether: all teachers must be formally evaluated; teacher evaluations must be tied to student achievement; evaluations occur annually; and teacher evaluators must receive formal training in evaluation techniques and procedures. Ibid.

Accountability for Effectiveness of Teacher Education Programs: State monitors teacher education programs by: regularly publishing pass rates/rankings of teacher-preparation institutions; or holding teacher-preparation programs accountable for graduates’ performance in classroom setting. Ibid.

Data Systems to Monitor Quality: State data system has the capacity to monitor teacher workforce by: assigning a unique identification number to each teacher; and matching teacher and student records to course information and state-assessment results. Data Quality Campaign, 2007.

INCENTIVES AND ALLOCATION

Alternative-Route Program: State finances/regulates an alternative-route teacher-preparation program to recruit candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2007.

License Reciprocity or Portability: State has teacher-license agreement with other state(s) that allows licensed out-of-state teachers to obtain a similar license without fulfilling significant additional requirements. Ibid.

Pension Portability: State policy allows portability of teacher pension into the state. Ibid.

Teacher-Salary Parity: Median public school teacher salaries in the state, expressed as a percentage of annual salaries in comparable occupations. Teacher salaries are indexed against salaries for a set of 16 occupations with similar skill demands (e.g., accountant, architect, registered nurse, physical therapist), identified in a 2004 study by the Economic Policy Institute. EPE Research Center analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 2005 and 2006.

Reporting Teacher Salaries: State requires all districts to report average teacher salaries at the school level (2007-08). EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2007.

Pay for Performance: State has a pay-for-performance program or pilot rewarding teachers for raising student achievement. Education Commission of the States’ Redesigned Teacher Compensation Database (fall 2006), updated by Education Week (fall 2007).

Differentiated Teacher Roles: State formally recognizes differentiated roles for teacher leaders. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2007.

Incentives for Teacher Leaders: State funds incentives or rewards for teachers who take on leadership roles. Ibid.

NBPTS Incentives: State provides financial incentives for teachers to earn National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. Ibid.

Monitoring the Distribution of Teaching Talent: State maintains information disaggregated by school poverty level about the numbers of teachers falling into each of the following categories: fully licensed teachers; teachers highly qualified in any or all core academic subjects taught; first-year teachers; and teachers certified by the NBPTS. States receive credit if they were able to verify the collection of such data. Ibid.

Incentives for Targeted Assignments: State provides incentives for teachers to work in targeted hard-to-staff schools and teaching-assignment areas statewide. Policies must apply to current, not prospective, teachers for states to receive credit. Ibid.

Targeted NBPTS-Certified Teachers: State specifically provides incentives for NBPTS-certified teachers to work in targeted hard-to-staff schools. Ibid.

Targeted Principal Assignments: State provides incentives to current principals to work in targeted hard-to-staff schools. Ibid.

BUILDING AND SUPPORTING CAPACITY

Supports for Beginning Teachers: This set of indicators reports whether states have in place the following policies aimed at beginning teachers: mandatory participation in a state-funded induction program; required participation in a state-funded mentoring program (and whether that program has standards for selecting, training, and/or matching mentors); and a reduced workload for first-year teachers. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2007.

Professional Development: This set of indicators reports whether states have in place the following policies related to professional development: formal professional-development standards; state-financed professional development for all districts; a requirement for districts/schools to set aside time for professional development; and a mandate for all districts to align professional development with local priorities and goals. Ibid.

School Leadership: These indicators are related to state requirements for initial school administrator licensure: State has official certification standards; mandated a supervised internship; and required participation in a supervised induction or mentoring program. Council of Chief State School Officers, Key State Education Policies on K-12 Education report (2006). Results for the District of Columbia compiled by the EPE Research Center (fall 2007).

Class-Size Initiatives: State has implemented a class-size- reduction program or regulations to limit class size. Findings apply to states with statewide requirements that focus on some or all grades. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2007.

Student-Teacher Ratio: Median student-to-teacher ratio in primary-level schools for 2005-06 school year. EPE Research Center analysis of U.S. Department of Education’s Common Core of Data, 2005-06.

School Facilities: State regularly tracks the condition of all school facilities. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2007.

School Climate and Working Conditions: State regularly collects and publicly reports school-level information on school climate and working conditions, based at least in part on surveys of teachers. Ibid.

School Violence Prevention: State has implemented policies that impose penalties for incidents of school violence, or that finance programs to reduce school violence. Ibid.

SCHOOL FINANCE

EQUITY

The EPE Research Center conducted an original analysis to calculate four distinct indicators–the Wealth-Neutrality Index, the McLoone Index, the Coefficient of Variation, and the Restricted-Range Index–that capture the degree to which education funding is equitably distributed across the districts within a state. Data for these analyses were obtained from a variety of sources, including: U.S. Census Bureau’s Public Elementary-Secondary Education Finance Data for 2005; U.S. Department of Education’s Common Core of Data 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06 (district-level data); National Center for Education Statistics’ Geographic Cost of Education Index 1993-94; U.S. Census Bureau’s Small-Area Income and Poverty Estimates 2004; U.S. Department of Education’s School District Demographics data, based on the 2000 U.S. Census. In analyses adjusting for characteristics of the student population, students in poverty receive a weight of 1.2 and special education students receive a weight of 1.9.

SPENDING

Adjusted Per-Pupil Expenditures: Average statewide per-student spending, adjusted for variations in local costs using the NCES Geographic Cost of Education Index. National Center for Education Statistics, Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 2004-05 (Fiscal Year 2005), April 2007.

Percent of students in districts with PPE at or above U.S. average: EPE Research Center analysis of data from sources including: U.S. Census Bureau’s Public Elementary-Secondary Education Finance Data for 2005; U.S. Department of Education’s Common Core of Data district-level data 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06; NCES Geographic Cost of Education Index; and U.S. Census Small-Area Income and Poverty Estimates 2004. Analysis adjusts for characteristics of the student population, with students in poverty and in special education receiving weights of 1.2 and 1.9 respectively.

Spending Index: Ibid.

Percent of total taxable resources spent on education: Share of state resources spent on K-12 education. EPE Research Center analysis of state and local revenues from the National Center for Education Statistics, Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 2004-05 (Fiscal Year 2005), April 2007; and 2005 gross-state-product data from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Vol. 27, Issue 18, Pages 60,62

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Quality Counts is produced with support from the Pew Center on the States.

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