The Pangloss Index: How States Game the No Child Left Behind Act
Alabama is singled out as having lowered its standards annually since the No Child Left Behind Act was put into place, in a report that ranks each state on a “Pangloss Index,” a term suggesting an overly optimistic view of reality.
The report by Kevin Carey, the research and policy manager at Education Sector, a Washington-based education policy think tank, uses data submitted to the U.S. Department of Education by each of the 50 states on graduation rates, school safety statistics, reading and math proficiency, and the percentage of school districts making adequate yearly progress for the 2006-07 school year.
The report, which singles out Alabama as presenting the most inflated view of educational progress, uses the data to revise states’ ranking on the index, which the think tank debuted last year.
A version of this article appeared in the November 28, 2007 edition of Education Week