About These Reports
The 17th annual edition of Education Week‘s Quality Counts continues the tradition of tracking key education indicators and grading the states on their policy efforts and outcomes. This year’s report also tackles school climate and discipline as its special theme, examining the impact of a school’s social and disciplinary environment on students’ ability to learn and on the teachers and administrators tasked with guiding them. Education Week journalists take an in-depth look at a range of school-climate factors—including strong peer relationships, a sense of safety and security, and school disciplinary policies and practices—that help to lay the groundwork for academic success.
To complement the report’s journalism, the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center conducted an original survey of more than 1,300 educators, who shared their insights and opinions on school climate and discipline in their schools. This survey was supported by grants from the Atlantic Philanthropies, the NoVo Foundation, the Raikes Foundation, and the California Endowment. This year’s report also features newly updated 50-state information on policies and conditions in three of the areas monitored by the report on an ongoing basis as part of Quality Counts’ State of the States framework: Chance for Success; transitions and alignment policies; and school finance.
To provide a comprehensive perspective on state policy and performance, the 2013 State Highlights Reports integrate findings from the 2012 and 2013 editions of Quality Counts. This approach allows us to capture state standings across the full set of six topical areas that comprise the report’s state-grading rubric. The overall state scores and letter grades awarded in Quality Counts are based on the following categories: Chance for Success; K-12 achievement; standards, assessments, and accountability; the teaching profession; school finance; and transitions and alignment. Most of the indicators that appear in Quality Counts are based on original analyses and state-survey data from the EPE Research Center, supplemented by information published by other organizations.
Overall findings from Quality Counts show that some states perform consistently well or poorly across the full range of graded categories. However, a closer examination of the results reveals that most states post a strong showing in at least one area. This suggests that while broad evaluations of state rankings and performance can be useful, a deeper reading of the results presented in this State Highlights Report will provide a more nuanced perspective on the educational condition of the nation and the states.
Editorial Projects in Education Research Center