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California Earns a C on Chance-for-Success Index, Ranks 36th in Nation

An Education Week State Highlight Report
January 16, 2019 1 min read
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Quality Counts reports state grades for educational performance in three installments. The January installment provides results on the Chance-for-Success Index, one-third of a state’s overall grade. In June, Education Week publishes the second installment, focusing on school finance. The September publication features the K-12 Achievement Index and overall grades. A state’s overall grade is the average of its scores on the three separate indices tracked by the report.

Chance for Success

The Education Week Research Center developed the Chance-for-Success Index to better understand the role that education plays in promoting positive outcomes across an individual’s lifetime. Based on an original state-by-state analysis, this index combines information from 13 indicators that span a person’s life from cradle to career. Those indicators fall into three sub-sections: early foundations, school years, and adult outcomes.

Diving into the findings, California earns a C in the Chance-for-Success category and ranks 36th. The average state earns a C-plus.

For early foundations, which examines factors that help children get off to a good start, California earns a C and ranks 49th. The average state posts a B.

California receives a C for the school years, a sub-category focusing on metrics related to pre-k enrollment through postsecondary participation. It finishes 30th in the nation in this area. By comparison, the nation as a whole earns a C-plus.

In the area of adult outcomes, based on postsecondary educational attainment and workforce indicators, California’s grade is a C-plus. It ranks 27th in the nation. The national average is a C-plus.

View more 2019 reports on states and the nation >

In March 2024, Education Week announced the end of the Quality Counts report after 25 years of serving as a comprehensive K-12 education scorecard. In response to new challenges and a shifting landscape, we are refocusing our efforts on research and analysis to better serve the K-12 community. For more information, please go here for the full context or learn more about the EdWeek Research Center.

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