Corrected: The Quality Counts 2016 report, published as the Jan. 7 issue of Education Week and online, included errors in the school finance analysis. This page has been revised to correct grades, scores, and rankings in summative results and school finance. Details are available at www.edweek.org/go/qc16correct.
The 20th annual edition of Quality Counts—Called to Account: New Directions in School Accountability—continues Education Week’s long-standing tradition of grading the states on their performance. The overall grades for the nation and the states are the average of scores on the three separate indices tracked by the report.
This year, the nation earns an overall score of 74.4 out of 100 points and posts a grade of C on the Quality Counts report card. Diving into the findings for the three graded indices, the nation earns its highest mark — a C-plus — on the Chance-for-Success Index. In School Finance, the average state receives a C, while for the K-12 Achievement Index the nation posts a C-minus.
Quality Counts 2016 also focuses on educational accountability as its special theme. The report examines how new state and federal strategies are transforming the assessment of school performance and reshaping the consequences for poor results. As part of this project, the Education Week Research Center conducted an original analysis of student achievement in the No Child Left Behind era. The analysis highlights results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress from 2003 to 2015. It examines achievement, poverty-based gaps, and trends over time.
To shed light on student achievement in the NCLB era, the Education Week Research Center averaged NAEP scores for reading and math in grades 4 and 8 to create an overall proficiency rate for each state and the nation as a whole. The nation’s combined proficiency rate stands at 34.8 percent for 2015. Massachusetts ranks at the top of the nation with a rate of 50.0 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, New Mexico records a rate of 22.6 percent, the lowest in the nation.
The 2016 National Highlights Report includes results for each of the nearly-40 indicators that make up Quality Counts’ overall grading rubric. This year’s report also contains the special analysis of student achievement in the NCLB era.