Special Report
States

How School-Quality Data Can Help Leaders Weigh Risk Amid Crisis

September 01, 2020 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Risk—and, more specifically, the assessment of risk—is a top-tier concern for every district administrator and state official working to safely, efficiently open K-12 schools for the 2020-21 academic year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of those risks are more obvious than others: the virus transmission rate in the community, the vulnerabilities of students and staff, the financial weight of unprecedented health precautions and complex, shifting logistics.

Others are less apparent, but no less significant: the cost of the pandemic’s disruption on future academic achievement, and its real-time impact on learning for millions of students—many of whom can ill-afford to sacrifice their instructional opportunities.

To help school and district leaders weigh these risks, this third installment of Quality Counts 2020 provides near-term and longer-range analysis from the EdWeek Research Center on a host of data-driven indicators affecting school quality.

In addition to Quality Counts’ annual summative report card for the nation and the states, this year’s “Grading the States” features a Coronavirus Learning Loss Risk Index providing recent data for the decision-making process. This index draws on U.S. Census Bureau findings from the spring—at the height of the pandemic’s shutdown of brick-and-mortar schooling—to assess the vulnerability of states regarding home-learning environments, especially in key areas such as access to technology and parental and teacher engagement with instruction.

The aim of this Quality Counts installment is two-fold.

As educators and policymakers work to address schools’ health and safety concerns, barriers to remote learning, and revenue losses due to the economic downturn, their efforts are heavily influenced by the academic and financial conditions already shaping their states. The summative grades and rankings, based on previous years’ experience, offer crucial context for those decisions.

At the same time, the Coronavirus Learning Loss Index puts a spotlight on current conditions in the home that weigh heavily on students’ ability, readiness, and likelihood of successfully navigating the challenges and shortcomings posed by COVID-19.

For more detail on findings from the Coronavirus Learning Loss Index and to access State Highlights Reports with in-depth breakouts of the data behind this year’s Quality Counts grades and rankings, be sure to read the entire collection.

—The Editors


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

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
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
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
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
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
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

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 Bill to Restrict How Race and Racism Is Taught in Schools Headed to Texas Governor
If the "critical race theory" bill sounds familiar, that's because lawmakers passed a similar one during the regular legislative session.
Eleanor Dearman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
4 min read
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas, on June 8, 2021.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas, on June 8, 2021.
Eric Gay/AP
States Infographic Which States Are Reporting COVID-19 Cases in Schools?
Some states are reporting the number of COVID-19 cases in their schools and districts. Use this table to find your state's data.
Image shows the coronavirus along with data charts and numbers.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
States From Our Research Center Map: A-F Grades, Rankings for States on School Quality
Here’s a map showing grades for all the states on this year’s Quality Counts summative report card, on which the nation gets a C overall.
EdWeek Research Center
1 min read
Illustration of students reading with pie chart.
Getty
States Nation Gets a 'C' on Latest School Quality Report Card, While N.J. Again Boasts Top Grade
A slight increase in this year's Quality Counts score isn't enough to boost the nation's school system above last year's middling grade.
8 min read
Illustration of students reading with pie chart.
Getty