Education

Just Got My Report Card

January 17, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Grading the states on their efforts to improve public education has been a hallmark of Quality Counts since it was launched by Education Week in 1997. Last year we took a hiatus from grading to reassess some categories (finance and teaching), and to introduce a couple of new indexes (Chance for Success and K-12 Achievement).

Grading is back in 2008. But there are some key differences between this year’s report and previous editions (which makes comparing state grades over time like comparing apples and oranges). As always, we’re grading on the implementation of state policies in several key areas – this year adding alignment policies to the mix. For the first time ever, we’re also grading states on student performance outcomes.

While Quality Counts has changed significantly over the years, the reason for grading the states has remained constant. Grading is a useful way to help readers get their heads around a very large amount of information—more than 150 different data points. That said, we intend the grades to be the beginning of a meaningful conversation about education and public policy, certainly not the final word. There are countless stories and possible discussions behind each grade we give.

State Leaders Respond to Grades

Now put yourself in the shoes of the state superintendent. Each year, Quality Counts comes out and points out your state’s strengths and weaknesses, and how well your state is doing compared to all other states. How do you respond?

Paul Pastorek, State Education Superintendent, Louisiana:

This report confirms what we already know. As compared to other states, our steady and positive improvement of academic achievement simply isn't enough" (News Star/Associated Press, January 10, 2008).

Jo O’Brien, Assistant Education Commissioner in Colorado:

We’re not defensive about this. We find it interesting and rather helpful. When we saw we got a D (in one category), even though you want to cringe, we kind of want to say, ‘You know what? This is helpful. This is a report that we think has integrity.’ And we would agree it is commensurate with where state legislators and policymakers—and where the Department of Education and the state board (of education)—think we also need to work” (Rocky Mountain News, January 10, 2008).

Peter McWalters, Commissioner of Education, Rhode Island:

I know we did not receive high scores in several of the categories, but I like the questions they are asking" (Providence Journal, January 10, 2008).

Patti Harrington, State Superintendent, Utah:

I think the report reinforces in some ways what parents already know. Shining flashlights in areas that are dark and troubled is a good practice. These reports help us to understand how we're viewed by a third party" (Salt Lake Tribune, January 9, 2008).

Stan Johnson, Assistant Commissioner, Missouri:

The whole grading system depends on how well your state aligns to their established criteria. I’m not being critical of this, but it’s always good to look at different resources and information. If you look at other factors, such as ACT scores, Missouri fares quite well." (Columbia Tribune, January 10, 2008).

Jack O’Connell, Superintendent of Public Instruction, California:

Once again, this report indicates that despite our highly regarded standards, California faces many challenges and must invest more and work harder to ensure all students are successful in achieving to those standards" (Whittier Daily News, January 14, 2008).

A version of this news article first appeared in the Echo Chamber blog.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Assessment Webinar
The State of Assessment in K-12 Education
What is the impact of assessment on K-12 education? What does that mean for administrators, teachers and most importantly—students?
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Centering the Whole Child in School Improvement Planning and Redesign
Learn how leading with equity and empathy yield improved sense of belonging, attendance, and promotion rate to 10th grade.

Content provided by Panorama
Teaching Profession Webinar Examining the Evidence: Supports to Promote Teacher Well-Being
Rates of work dissatisfaction are on the rise among teachers. Grappling with an increased workload due to the pandemic and additional stressors have exacerbated feelings of burnout and demoralization. Given these challenges, what can the

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: January 12, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education School Bus Driver Retires After 48 Years Behind Wheel
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick sat behind the wheel for the final time last week, wrapping up a 48-year career for the district.
3 min read
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick poses with one of her farewell signs. Flick has been driving for Charles City School District for 48 years.
Betty Flick quickly fell in love with the job and with the kids, which is what has had her stay in the district for this long.
Courtesy of Abby Koch/Globe Gazette
Education Briefly Stated: December 1, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read