This year’s edition of Quality Counts 2007 – From Cradle to Career: Connecting American Education from Birth Through Adulthood investigates which states provide their young people with the best opportunity to succeed in their academic and professional lives based on the “Chance-for-Success Index.” The Chance-for-Success Index provides a perspective on the importance of education throughout a person’s lifetime and based on 13 indicators that highlight whether young children get off to a good start, succeed in elementary and secondary school, and hit key educational and income benchmarks as adults. Individual findings for each state are included in state highlights reports. Quality Counts is available free on Ed Week’s website until January 18th.
A couple interesting tidbits I’ve gleaned so far. Even though many districts in Massachusetts experienced declining MCAS scores this year (possibly because it was a new version not psychometrically equated with the old version?), Massachusetts was the top state in every education achievement measure shown on the national summary of Quality Counts 2007. The measures came from performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). NAEP has been around since 1969. I believe the reason it is not used to demonstrate progress for NCLB is simply to keep up appearances of local control of education. Federal involvement in education has never been this high.
Another interesting tidbit for those advocating universal preschool is that the state with the highest high school graduation rate is also the state with the highest preschool enrollment: New Jersey.
I know I’ll be thinking more about what I make of some these data. For now, please feel free to add your comments.