- Education Week’s 2017 Quality Counts report gives each state and the nation a summative grade of A through F based on scores in three areas: chance for success, school finance and K-12 achievement.
- Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maryland and Connecticut are at the top of the distribution — all with Bs — and Nevada, Mississippi and New Mexico fall at the other end of the spectrum with Ds.
- Nationally, the lowest scores come in K-12 Achievement, which is brought down by academic performance across the states, but Education Week reports the Chance-for-Success category is bolstered by improvements to early childhood education.
Like any summative score, the Quality Counts report obscures disparities within states, Massachusetts being a notable example. While it continues to sit at the top of the rankings for overall school quality, it has one of the worst achievement gaps based on poverty, which places it at 34th in the nation and gives it a B-, below the national average.
California education leaders have latched onto the detrimental nature of summative rankings, fighting instead for a new reporting system under the Every Student Succeeds Act guidelines that offers a dashboard of results for each school and district. With the dashboard, it will be even more clear where a district excels and where it needs work.