http://www.eUSA GRAPH 2dweek.org/ew/qc/2015/2015-state-report-cards-map.html

(Thanks to former SOS steering committee member Lee Barrios for this link.)

I am usually skeptical of any kind of educational ranking system, especially of states because within each state there is such a range of districts, according to these very same criteria, so understand that the “scores” are averages. Therefore within states you have districts that different widely, perhaps none more than Scarsdale and Rochester NY.

Scarsdale N.Y.

> Median household income: $238,000

> Pct. households earning $200,000+: 64.3%

> Pct. households earning less than $10,000: 0%

Rochester NY:

> Median household income: $30,553

> Pct. households earning $200,000+: 1.8%

> Pct. households earning less than $10,000: 18.1%

As a result we cannot just say we know everything in any state until we break see intra as well as intra state results.

 However, given that caveat emptor, we do need to look at these numbers to see how student success varies based on the important criteria selected in this study.

The scores and rankings visible on the chart on the link above are based on the following criteria. It is my conclusion that these data clearly show the relationship of each of these environmental factors to student success. Why those in power continue to refuse to use these data, blame teachers and parents, and continue to stress high stakes standardized tests and evaluations as the solution to improving public schooling in the USA is beyond me.

Please examine the following carefully as you draw your own conclusions about the link’s map graphic and rankings.

CHANCE FOR SUCCESS CRITERIA:

EARLY FOUNDATIONS

Family Income: Percent of dependent children (under 18 years of age) who live in above-low-income families. Low income is defined as 200 percent of the federal poverty level, which depends on the size and composition of the family.

Parent Education: Percent of dependent children with at least one parent who holds a two- or four-year postsecondary degree.

Parental Employment: Percent of dependent children with at least one parent who is steadily employed, defined as working full time (at least 35 hours per week) and year-round (at least 50 weeks during the previous year). Those not in the labor force are excluded from calculations.

Linguistic Integration: Percent of dependent children whose parents are fluent speakers of English. Fluency is defined as being a native speaker or speaking the language “very well.” All resident parents must be fluent in English for a family to be considered linguistically integrated.

SCHOOL YEARS

Preschool Enrollment: Percent of 3- and 4-year-olds who are attending preschool, based on a three-year average. Both public and private education programs are counted.

Kindergarten Enrollment: Percent of eligible children attending public or private kindergarten programs, based on a three-year average. The size of the entering kindergarten cohort is calculated based on the number of 5- and 6-year-olds in a state.

Elementary Reading Achievement: Percent of 4th graders in public schools who scored at or above the “proficient” level in reading on the 2013 State NAEP assessment.

Middle School Mathematics Achievement: Percent of 8th graders in public schools who scored at or above the “proficient” level in mathematics on the 2013 State NAEP assessment.

High School Graduation Rate: Percent of public high school students who graduated on time with a standard diploma for the 2011-12 school year. The graduation rate is calculated using the Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR).

Young-Adult Education: Percent of young adults (ages 18 to 24) who either are currently enrolled in a postsecondary education program or have already earned a postsecondary credential. Those still enrolled in high school programs are excluded from the calculation.

ADULT OUTCOMES

Adult Educational Attainment: Percent of adults (ages 25 to 64) who have earned a postsecondary degree. Calculations include all individuals whose highest level of attained education is an associate, bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree.

Annual Income: Percent of adults (ages 25 to 64) whose annual personal income reaches or exceeds the national median ($36,594 in July 2013 dollars). Only individuals in the labor force are included in calculations.

Steady Employment: Percent of adults (ages 25 to 64) who are steadily employed, defined as working full time (at least 35 hours per week) and year-round (at least 50 weeks during the previous year). Those not in the labor force are excluded from calculations. Active-duty military service is considered participation in the labor force.

SCHOOL FINANCE CRITERIA:

EQUITY

The Education Week Research Center conducted an original analysis to calculate four distinct indicators that capture the degree to which education funding is equitably distributed across the districts within a state. Calculations for each equity indicator take into account regional differences in educational costs and the concentrations of low-income students and those with disabilities, whose services are more expensive than average. Students in poverty receive a weight of 1.2; students with disabilities receive a weight of 1.9.

Wealth-Neutrality Score: This indicator captures the degree to which a school district’s revenue (state and local sources) is correlated with its property-based wealth.

Positive values indicate that wealthier districts have higher revenue levels.

McLoone Index: Indicator value is the ratio of the total amount spent on pupils below the median to the amount that would be needed to raise all students to the median per-pupil expenditure in the state. The index defines perfect equity as a situation in which every district spends at least as much as the district serving the median student in the state (ranked according to per-pupil expenditures).

Coefficient of Variation: This indicator measures the level of variability in funding across school districts in a state. The value is calculated by dividing the standard deviation of per-pupil expenditures (adjusted for regional cost differences and student needs) by the state’s average spending per pupil.

Restricted Range: The restricted range is the difference between spending levels for the districts serving students at the 5th and 95th percentiles of the per-pupil expenditure distribution.

SPENDING

Adjusted Per-Pupil Expenditures: Average statewide per-student spending, adjusted for variations in regional costs using the NCES Comparable Wage Index 2012, as updated by Lori Taylor of Texas A&M University.

Percent of Students in Districts with PPE at or Above U.S. Average: Expenditures are adjusted for regional differences in educational costs and the concentrations of low-income students and students with disabilities

Spending Index: Index gauges state spending according to the percent of students served by districts spending at or above the national average as well as the degree to which lower-spending districts fall short of that national benchmark.

Expenditures are adjusted for regional differences in educational costs and the concentrations of low-income students and students with disabilities.

Percent of Total Taxable Resources Spent on Education: Share of state resources spent on K-12 education.

EARLY CHILDHOOD CRITERIA:

Preschool Enrollment: Percent of 3- and 4-year-olds who are attending preschool, based on a three-year average. Both public and private education programs are counted.

Preschool Enrollment Gains: Change in the percent of 3- and 4-year-olds attending preschool between 2008 and 2013.

Preschool Poverty Gap: Percentage-point difference between 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool in poor and non-poor families. Low income is defined as 200 percent of the federal poverty level, which depends on the size and composition of the family.

Preschool Poverty-Gap Change: Change in the size of the poverty gap between 2008 and 2013.

Full-Day Preschool: Percent of preschool students attending full-day programs. Both public and private education programs are counted.

Head Start Enrollment: Number of children enrolled in Head Start as a percent of 3- and 4-year-olds in families at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level.

Kindergarten Enrollment: Percent of eligible children attending public or private kindergarten programs, based on a three-year average. The size of the entering kindergarten cohort is calculated based on the number of 5- and 6-year-olds in a state.

Full-Day Kindergarten: Percent of kindergarten students attending full-day programs. Both public and private education programs are counted.

The Chance-for-Success Index, Early Education Index, and school finance are scored using a best-in-class rubric. Under this approach, the leading state on a particular indicator receives 100 points, and other states earn points in proportion to the gaps between themselves and the leader.

Some of the indicators—such as those related to the equity of education spending—use complex scales for which minimum or maximum values are not clearly defined. For such indicators, we evaluate a particular state based on its performance relative to the minimum and maximum values on that indicator. Those indicators are scored on a 50-point base, meaning that all states start with 50 points rather than zero.

To compute a state’s score for a given category, we average points across the applicable set of indicators. On a best-in-class scale, a state’s overall score for a category can be gauged against an implicit standard where 100 points would correspond to a state that finished first in the nation on each and every measure.

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