Quality Counts






‘Quality Counts’ is the comprehensive annual survey of education in the 50 states of the U.S.  It compares reading and math scores as well as a number of additional factors such as funding, education gap, opportunity gap, chances of success in school, and then grades the states on these criteria as well as many others.  The study is produced by the Research Center for Editorial Projects and Education, a non-profit arm of the publishers of Education Week.

To help me grasp the dimensions of the data, Chris Swanson, the Director of the Center joins me to share some insights.  A new feature this year is the ability to adjust the weighting of each of the factors so the viewer can see the data based on their own priorities.

Chris and I discuss some of the funding inequities that effect education, after school programs, education reform, decreases over time in reading scores, and of course everyone’s favorite, “No Child Left Behind”.  While some of the numbers are troubling, it becomes apparent that there is a need for a universal intake assessment tool for children when they first enter school.  This type of assessment would give educators a sense of how much the child has developed to date and what areas need to be addressed.  Such assessments can also give us a yardstick in evaluating the effectiveness of preschool education from year to year.