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

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
Assessment Webinar
The State of Assessment in K-12 Education
What is the impact of assessment on K-12 education? What does that mean for administrators, teachers and most importantly—students?
Content provided by Instructure
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
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
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Proven Strategies to Improve Reading Scores
In this webinar, education and reading expert Stacy Hurst will provide a look at some of the biggest issues facing curriculum coordinators, administrators, and teachers working in reading education today. You will: Learn how schools
Content provided by Reading Horizons

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 N.H. Teacher ‘Loyalty’ Law Could Expand to Include Race Debate
A Cold War-era law in New Hampshire targeting "teachers' loyalty" would be updated with today's hot button issues.
2 min read
Collage of an American Flag.
Collage: Laura Baker/Education Week (Images: iStock/Getty)
States Pivoting to Remote Learning: Why It Is Harder in Some States Than Others
In calling the shots on the switch back to remote instruction, states have very different rules, an Education Week analysis finds.
8 min read
Macy Schulman, left, and Mason Yeoh, both students at Fairfield Warde High School, carry pro-remote learning signs during a rally of parents and students fighting to have an online option for school this year, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021, in Fairfield, Conn.
Macy Schulman, left, and Mason Yeoh, both students at Fairfield Warde High School in Connecticut, carry pro-remote learning signs during a rally in August of parents and students fighting to have an online option for school this academic year.
Ned Gerard/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP
States Ind. Teachers Push Back Against Bill That Would Let Parents Vet School Curricula
Sparking opposition from dozens of teachers, the legislation seeks to require all school curricula to be vetted by parent review committees.
4 min read
Rep. Vernon Smith, left, D-Gary, looks at his notes during the first day of the legislative session at the the Statehouse, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, in Indianapolis.
Rep. Vernon Smith, left, D-Gary, looks at his notes during the first day of the legislative session at the the Statehouse, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, in Indianapolis.
Darron Cummings/AP
States Ariz. Families Can Now Get Private School Vouchers If Their Schools Go Remote
Gov. Doug Ducey says he is taking "preemptive action" to keep students in classrooms despite rising hospitalizations as the Omicron variant spreads.
4 min read
Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey speaks at a ceremony on Dec. 7, 2021, in Phoenix. Gov. Ducey on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, took what he called "preemptive action" to keep school public schools open and give students access to in-person instruction despite rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Arizona and nationwide as the more contagious omicron virus variant spreads.
Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey speaks at a ceremony on Dec. 7, 2021, in Phoenix.
Ross D. Franklin/AP