To collect information on state education policies for Quality Counts 2008, the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center sent surveys to the chief state school officers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia public schools. The surveys, distributed electronically on Aug. 9, 2007, included sections regarding: standards, assessments, and accountability; policies related to transitions and alignment; the teaching profession; and state accountability data.
Respondents were asked to answer the questions and provide appropriate documentation to verify that the reported policies were in place at the time of the survey or for the 2007-08 school year. Such documentation might include state statutes, administrative rules, or Web links for information available online.
To ensure that answers were accurate and that consistent standards were applied across the states, EPE Research Center staff members carefully evaluated each state’s responses and documentary evidence over an 11-week period. That process often included discussions with the respondents. In the absence of documentation, the center did not award credit.
On or around Nov. 13, the EPE Research Center sent each chief state school officer a completed survey indicating that state’s initial responses and the final determinations by the center based on the available documentation. Officials in the state were asked to review the final answers and supply any corrections or changes that could be supported by additional documentation.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia participated in the survey. The EPE Research Center would like to thank the many dedicated individuals at state education agencies who generously contributed their time and effort in providing information for this year’s report. The Quality Counts editors and the center staff hope this examination of policies across the states will inform the efforts of researchers, legislators, policymakers, and practitioners.