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Education Week Releases Annual Quality Counts Report

Author: Helios Education Foundation

January 15, 2014

According to the annual Quality Counts report recently released, Florida improved its national K-12 achievement ranking to 7th in the country while Arizona fell to 38th.  The national report, produced by Education Week, tracks key education indicators and grades states on their performance and outcomes. 

Florida also gets high marks for closing the poverty gap in both 4th and 8th grade reading and math, with higher rates than the nation as a whole.  Arizona’s performance on closing the poverty gap showed progress in reading but faltered in math. 

Quality Counts reviews six categories to evaluate education performance and provides both national and state-level analysis.  The following is a brief description of each category and the corresponding grade and ranking for both Arizona and Florida.    

Chance for Success – The Chance for Success framework allows states to identify strong and weak links along the education continuum  – from early childhood education to adult educational achievement.  Categories evaluated include:  Family income, parent education, preschool enrollment, high school graduation and adult educational attainment. 

 

Grade

Ranking

Arizona

C-

47th

Florida

C

32nd


                       

K-12 Achievement – The K-12 Achievement Index examines 18 distinct and state achievement measures related to reading and math performance, high school graduation rates and the results of Advanced Placement exams. 

 

Grade

Ranking

Arizona

D+

38th

Florida

C

7th

 


School Finance Analysis – Includes per pupil expenditures and state expenditures on K-12 schooling as a percent of state resources. 
           

 

Grade

Ranking

Arizona

D+

43rd

Florida

C-

36th

           

Transitions and Alignment – The Transition and Alignment category examines state efforts to connect the K-12 education system with early learning, higher education and the workforce. 
           

 

Grade

Ranking

Arizona

C+

26th

Florida

A

4th

           

Standards, Assessments and Accountability – Includes an analysis of test items to measure student performance and the alignment of assessments to academic standards.
           

 

Grade

Ranking

Arizona

B+

25th

Florida

A

5th

           

The Teaching Profession – Includes the requirements for initial licensure, evaluating teacher performance, teacher education programs and capacity building. 

 

Grade

Ranking

Arizona

D-

47th

Florida

B

4th

 

Additional highlights of the 2014 Quality Counts report include:

  • Arizona’s change in graduation rate increased 5.1 percent, moving its ranking from 41st in the nation to 30th in the nation. 
  • Florida increased the percentage of students scoring proficient or higher on the 2013 NAEP reading and math assessments for both 4th and 8th grade. Florida’s gains in average NAEP scores from 2003 to 2013 are higher than those of the nation.
  • Florida closed the poverty gap in reading and math for both 4th and 8th grade by 2.7 and 5.5 points respectively between 2003 and 2013. Florida is closing the gap at higher rates than the nation as a whole.
  • Florida ranks third for increasing its Advanced Placement (AP) scores and for increasing the percentage of 11th and 12th grade AP test takers scoring 3 or higher, up to 36.6 percent from 31.3 percent last year – a 26.4 point increase since 2000. The Sunshine State’s AP performance and increases are higher than that of the nation.

 

Category: Education Excellence

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