Special Report
States

A Decade of Policy Indicators

January 03, 2006 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Quality Counts 2006 tracks state policy efforts over the past decade in four core areas—standards, assessments, accountability, and efforts to improve teacher quality—to see where states have made progress. In general, states received 1 point for each year that they had a particular policy indicator in place. For indicators with an asterisk, states received 2 points if they met the requirements of the indicator entirely (for example, if state standards were clear and specific for all three grade spans, or if state tests included both short-answer and extended-response items), and 1 point if they did so in part (for example, if a state had adopted content standards but not in all four subjects specified, or if it required between one and 10 weeks of student teaching).

See Also

Return to main story, A Decade of Effort

The national implementation score was calculated by taking the average across all 50 states in each policy area. The analysis does not include the District of Columbia.

The specific indicators are as follows.

Standards

  • State has adopted standards in the core academic subjects of English, mathematics, science, and social studies.*
  • English standards at all grade levels—elementary, middle, and high school—are clear, specific, and grounded in content.*
  • Math standards at all grade levels are clear, specific, and grounded in content.*
  • Science standards at all grade levels are clear, specific, and grounded in content.*
  • Social studies standards at all grade levels are clear, specific, and grounded in content.*

Assessments:

Trends in Standards-Based-Reform Implementation

BRIC ARCHIVE

SOURCE: Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, 2006

  • State tests go beyond multiple-choice items to include short-answer questions and those requiring an extended response from students.*
  • English tests are aligned with state content standards.
  • Math tests are aligned with state content standards.
  • Science tests are aligned with state content standards.
  • Social studies tests are aligned with state content standards.

Accountability:

  • State provides report cards for all public schools.
  • State imposes sanctions on low-performing schools.
  • State provides rewards to high-performing or improving schools.
  • State took part in the most recent cycle of the state-level National Assessment of Educational Progress.
  • Student promotion is contingent on performance on statewide exams.
  • High school graduation is contingent on performance on statewide exit or end-of-course exams.

Efforts to Improve Teacher Quality:

  • State requires a college major in the subject taught for initial licensure at the high school level.
  • Teachers must pass a basic-skills test for initial licensure.
  • Teachers must pass a test of subject-matter knowledge for initial licensure.
  • Teachers must pass a test of subject-specific pedagogy for initial licensure.
  • State provides licensure incentives for teachers who earn certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
  • State provides financial incentives for teachers who pursue or earn certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
  • State requires and finances mentoring for all novice teachers.
  • Prospective educators must complete 11 or more weeks of student-teaching.*

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.

Events

School Climate & Safety K-12 Essentials Forum Strengthen Students’ Connections to School
Join this free event to learn how schools are creating the space for students to form strong bonds with each other and trusted adults.
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
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
Future-Proofing Your School's Tech Ecosystem: Strategies for Asset Tracking, Sustainability, and Budget Optimization
Gain actionable insights into effective asset management, budget optimization, and sustainable IT practices.
Content provided by Follett Learning
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
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning

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

States States Direct Districts to Defy New Title IX Rule on Transgender Students
Some districts could be in a perilous legal squeeze play between their states and the feds.
4 min read
Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters presides over a special state Board of Education meeting on April 12, 2023, in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters presides over a state Board of Education meeting about Title IX regulations on April 12, 2023, in Oklahoma City. The state is among several whose leaders plan to defy new Biden administration regulations on Title IX, which covers sex discrimination.
Sue Ogrocki/AP
States Superintendent Vacancies Are High. Is Loosening Requirements a Good Idea?
Wisconsin's governor, a former educator, vetoed a bill that would have waived licensure requirements for district leaders.
3 min read
Photo of superintendent meeting with staff.
E+ / Getty
States Is Tutoring at Risk? States Stretch to Keep Funding in Place
States are using a variety of ways to ensure that tutoring programs can continue.
6 min read
Vector illustration tutoring concept of online learning with teacher and students.
iStock/Getty
States Republican and Democratic Governors Both Are Touting This K-12 Priority
Workforce readiness and career and technical education were the most common education themes in governors' state of the state addresses.
6 min read
Heidi Griebel and Josie Wahl participate in carpentry class at Career and Technical Education Academy in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Jan. 7, 2019.
Heidi Griebel and Josie Wahl participate in carpentry class at Career and Technical Education Academy in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Jan. 7, 2019. CTE programs were a core theme of several governors' state addresses in 2024.
Loren Townsley/The Argus Leader via AP