- Education Week on Thursday unveiled the 19th edition of Quality Counts, a report that grades the overall education performance of the nation and states.
- The report's letter grades for each state are based on three factors: Chance for Success, K-12 Achievement, and School Finance. This year, the nation received an overall grade of "C," with Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, and Vermont topping the list of states with "B" grades.
- This year's report also includes a new analysis of early-education program participation, enrollment gaps caused by poverty, and trends over time. An interactive map and report card is also available to subscribers.
Each of the three grading categories/indexes are determined as follows:
- Chance for Success measures what role education plays in individuals' lives from cradle to career.
- K-12 Achievement measures 18 indicators throughout achievement levels, improvements over time, and the effects of poverty on gaps.
- School Finance is measured using spending patterns and funding distribution by state
New Mexico, Nevada, and Mississippi all ranked last, with "D" grades. That Massachusetts topped the report should come as no surprise to those keeping their thumb on the pulse of the nation's schools. The state made headlines in September 2013 for producing top-ranking students 20 years after initiating reforms, with New York Times science reporter Kenneth Chang writing that Massachusetts eighth graders rank second in the world in science and sixth in math, according to data from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (Timss). The state has also consistently appeared among the top of the Quality Counts report.
As one of the most recognizable analyses of the state of K-12 education, Quality Counts is something you'll want to check out.