To gather information on state education policies for Quality Counts 2007, the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center sent surveys to the chief state school officers in all 50 states and to the superintendent of the District of Columbia public schools. The survey consisted of three sections—on standards and accountability, assessments, and policies related to transition and alignment—and was sent by e-mail on Aug. 9, 2006. Hard copies were mailed on Aug. 10.
Respondents were asked to answer the questions and provide appropriate information to verify that the reported policies were in place at the time of the survey or for the 2006-07 school year. Such documentation might include state statutes, administrative rules, or Web site addresses for information available online. To ensure that answers were accurate and that consistent standards were applied across the states, the epe Research Center carefully evaluated each state’s responses and documentary evidence. That process often required further discussions with the officials who had completed the survey. In the absence of documentation, credit was not awarded.
At the end of the approximately 10-week vetting process, on Nov. 1, each state schools chief received a completed survey indicating the state’s initial response and the final determination by the research center based on the available documentation. Officials in the state were asked to review the final answers and provide any corrections or changes with appropriate documentation.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia provided responses to the survey. The epe Research Center staff would like to thank all the individuals at state education agencies who generously contributed their time and effort in providing information for the survey. The Quality Counts editors and research staff hope this examination of policies across the states will inform the efforts of researchers, legislators, policymakers, and practitioners.
Visit the research center online, at www.edweek.org/rc, to access detailed state-by-state reports and to find contact information for the center’s staff members.