Quality Counts 2010: Fresh Course, Swift Current - Momentum and Challenges in the New Surge Toward Common Standards	Sponsored by:
Published Online: January 7, 2010
Published in Print: January 14, 2010, as Sources and Notes

Sources and Notes

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The Sources and Notes are organized into five sections: Math Progress Index; Chance for Success; Standards, Assessments, and Accountability; The Teaching Profession; and School Finance.

MATH PROGRESS INDEX

PERFORMANCE

NAEP Mathematics 2009 (4th and 8th grades): Percent of public school students who scored at or above the “proficient” level. National Assessment of Educational Progress, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, 2009.

Math Poverty Gap (8th grade math): Scale-score difference in 2009 NAEP achievement between public school students eligible and noneligible for the National School Lunch Program. Larger values indicate higher performance for noneligible students. National Assessment of Educational Progress, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, 2009.

Math Advanced Placement: Number of high math 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, 2008, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Common Core of Data, 2006-07.

IMPROVEMENT

NAEP Mathematics Change 2003-2009 (4th and 8th grades): Change in NAEP scale scores for public school students from 2003 to 2009. National Assessment of Educational Progress, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, 2003 and 2009.

Math Poverty-Gap Change (8th grade math): Change in the size of the poverty gap for public school students from 2003 to 2009, with poverty status based on student eligibility for the National School Lunch Program. National Assessment of Educational Progress, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, 2003 and 2009.

Change in Math Advanced Placement: Percent change in the ratio of high math Advanced Placement scores for public school students from 2000 to 2008. EPE Research Center analysis of data from the College Board’s AP Summary Reports, 2000 and 2008, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Common Core of Data, 1999-2000 and 2006-07.

OPPORTUNITY

Algebra by 8th Grade: Percent of public-school 8th graders attending schools where more than 50 percent of students are enrolled in Algebra I or a higher-level course. National Assessment of Educational Progress, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, 2009.

Subject Expertise of Math Teacher: Percent of 8th grade public school students with teachers who have an undergraduate major or minor in mathematics. Ibid.

Experience of Math Teacher: Percent of 8th grade public school students with teachers who have at least 10 years of experience teaching mathematics. Ibid.

Targeting Teacher Talent: Percentage-point gap in experienced math teachers between 8th grade public school students eligible and noneligible for the National School Lunch Program. Ibid.


CHANCE FOR SUCCESS

EARLY FOUNDATIONS

Family Income: Percent of dependent children (under 18 years of age) 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, 2008.

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.

SCHOOL YEARS

Preschool Enrollment: Percent of 3- and 4-year-olds who are attending preschool, based on a three-year average. Both public and private education programs are counted. EPE Research Center analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Kindergarten Enrollment: Percent of eligible children attending public or private kindergarten programs, based on a three-year average. 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 scored 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 scored at or above the “proficient” level in mathematics on the 2009 State NAEP assessment. National Assessment of Educational Progress, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, 2009.

High School Graduation Rate: Percent of public high school students who graduated on time with a standard diploma for the 2005-06 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, 2009.

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, 2008.

ADULT OUTCOMES

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, 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 ($36,662 in July 2008 dollars). Only individuals in the labor force are included in calculations. Ibid.

Steady Employment: Percent of adults (ages 25 to 64) who are 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.


STANDARDS, ASSESSMENTS, AND ACCOUNTABILITY

STANDARDS

Course- or Grade-Specific Standards: Academic-content standards are specified for each grade and/or course in elementary, middle, and high school rather than for grade spans. Results are reported by grade span and academic subject area. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2009.

Supplementary Resources: State has supplementary resources or guides for educators that elaborate on official academic-standards 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, English-language learners). Ibid.

ASSESSMENTS

Types of Test Items: 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, as verified by states, 2009.

Assessments Aligned to Standards: 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 for the 2009-10 school year have been vertically equated in grades 3-8 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, 2009.

Benchmark Assessments: State provides educators with benchmark 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

School Ratings: 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, 2009.

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, 2009.

Rewards for High-Performing or Improving Schools: Reward programs may require schools to apply or compete for extra funding or recognition. Rewards to schools need not be based on school ratings. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2009.

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.

Sanctions for 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.


THE TEACHING PROFESSION

ACCOUNTABILITY FOR QUALITY

This section of the report includes a series of six indicators related to initial licensure requirements for prospective teachers. State requirements that do not also apply to alternative-route candidates are identified. In state grading, credit is awarded for each of these six policies. In addition, states receive credit for having an alternative-certification program that includes at least one of the licensure requirements that apply to traditional-route candidates.

Coursework Requirements for Licensure: To earn an initial license, prospective teachers at every grade certification level must have taken substantial formal coursework in subject area(s) taught, corresponding to a major or equivalent. An asterisk indicates requirements that do not also apply to alternative-route teachers. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2009.

Licensure Assessments: Prospective teachers at every grade certification level must pass written tests in basic skills, subject-specific knowledge, or subject-specific pedagogy to earn an initial license. An asterisk indicates requirements that do not also apply to alternative-route teachers. 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. An asterisk indicates requirements that do not also apply to alternative-route teachers. Ibid.

Discouraging Out-of-Field Teaching: State attempts to limit out-of-field teaching by directly 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 state 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 at least annually; and all 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, 2009.

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, 2009.

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-Pay 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, 2007 and 2008.

Reporting Teacher Salaries: State requires all districts to report average teacher salaries at the school level (2009-10). EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2009.

Pay for Performance: State has a pay-for-performance program or pilot rewarding teachers for raising student achievement. Ibid.

Differentiated Teacher Roles: State formally recognizes differentiated roles for teachers. Ibid.

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

National-Board Incentives: State provides financial incentives for teachers to earn National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. 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 National Board-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, 2009.

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. State reported. Ibid.

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. Ibid.

Student-Teacher Ratio: Median student-to-teacher ratio in primary-level schools for 2007-08 school year. EPE Research Center analysis of U.S. Department of Education’s Common Core of Data, 2007-08.

School Facilities: State regularly tracks the condition of facilities for all schools. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2009.

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 FINANCE

EQUITY

The EPE Research Center conducted an original analysis to calculate four distinct indicators that capture the degree to which education funding is equitably distributed across the districts within a state. 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.

Wealth-Neutrality Score: This indicator captures the degree to which a school district’s revenue (state and local sources) is correlated with its property-based wealth. Positive values indicate that wealthier districts have higher revenue levels. EPE Research Center analysis using: U.S. Department of Education’s Common Core of Data (CCD) 2005-06 and 2006-07 (district-level data); NCES Comparable Wage Index 2005; U.S. Census Bureau’s Public Elementary-Secondary Education Finance Data for 2007; U.S. Census Bureau’s Small-Area Income and Poverty Estimates 2007; U.S. Department of Education’s School District Demographics data from the 2000 Census.

McLoone Index: Indicator value is the ratio of the total amount spent on pupils below the median to the amount that would be needed to raise all students to the median per-pupil expenditure in the state. The index defines perfect equity as a situation in which every district spends at least as much as the district serving the median student in the state (ranked according to per-pupil expenditures). EPE Research Center analysis using: U.S. Department of Education’s Common Core of Data (CCD) 2005-06 and 2006-07 (district-level data); NCES Comparable Wage Index 2005; U.S. Census Bureau’s Public Elementary-Secondary Education Finance Data for 2007; U.S. Census Bureau’s Small-Area Income and Poverty Estimates 2007.

Coefficient of Variation: This indicator measures the level of variability in funding across school districts in a state. The value is calculated by dividing the standard deviation of per-pupil expenditures (adjusted for regional cost differences and student needs) by the state’s average spending per pupil. Ibid.

Restricted Range: The restricted range is the difference between spending levels for the districts serving students at the 5th and 95th percentiles of the per-pupil-expenditure distribution. Ibid.

SPENDING

Adjusted Per-Pupil Expenditures: Average statewide per-student spending, adjusted for variations in regional costs using the NCES Comparable Wage Index 2005. EPE Research Center analysis using: National Center for Education Statistics, Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 2006-07 (Fiscal Year 2007), February 2009.

Percent of students in districts with PPE at or above U.S. average: Expenditures are adjusted for regional cost differences and student needs. EPE Research Center analysis using: U.S. Census Bureau’s Public Elementary-Secondary Education Finance Data for 2007; CCD district-level data 2005-06, 2006-07; NCES Comparable Wage Index 2005; and U.S. Census Bureau’s Small-Area Income and Poverty Estimates 2007.

Spending Index: Index gauges state spending according to the percent of students served by districts spending at or above the national average as well as the degree to which lower-spending districts fall short of that national benchmark. Expenditures are adjusted for regional cost differences and student needs. Ibid.

Percent of total taxable resources spent on education: Share of state resources spent on K-12 education. EPE Research Center analysis using: state and local revenues from the National Center for Education Statistics, Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 2006-07 (Fiscal Year 2007), February 2009; 2007 gross-state-product data from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Vol. 29, Issue 17, Pages 49-50

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

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