Educational Opportunities and Performance in Alabama
Based on a comprehensive analysis of data, the Quality Counts report card answers a key question: Where does my state rank for educational opportunities and performance?
States are graded and ranked in three categories: Chance for Success (January), School Finance (June), and K-12 Achievement (September). A state’s overall grade, published in September, is the average of its scores on the three separate indices tracked for the report card.
Chance for Success: Gauging Educational Opportunities
The EdWeek 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.
The index evaluates each state using a range of measuring sticks, including:
- How educated are parents?
- What share of 3- and 4-year-olds are enrolled in preschool?
- Are K-12 students proficient in reading and math?
- What’s the high school graduation rate?
- What percentage of adults have steady employment?
Diving into the findings, Alabama earns a C in the Chance-for-Success category and ranks 43rd. The average state earns a C-plus.
Early Foundations: Are Kids Getting Off to a Good Start?
For early foundations, which examines factors that help children get off to a good start, Alabama earns a B-minus and ranks 38th. The average state posts a B.
School Years: How Are Students Faring in School?
Alabama receives a C-minus for the school years, a sub-category focusing on metrics related to pre-K enrollment through postsecondary participation. It finishes 45th in the nation in this area. By comparison, the nation as a whole earns a C-plus.
Adult Outcomes: Are Adults Finding Opportunities for Success?
In the area of adult outcomes, based on postsecondary educational attainment and workforce indicators, Alabama’s grade is a C-minus. It ranks 43rd in the nation. The national average is a C-plus.
Vol. 39, Issue 19