California ranks 28th nationally in annual Quality Counts report cards

Education Week has released the final installment of its yearly “Quality Counts 2019: Grading the states” report cards. The project’s aim is to show which states do the best job in preparing students for successful futures in both college and career. The measurements are based on a range of family, school and socioeconomic indicators; financial indicators; and achievement indicators. The project is released in three parts:

  • The first installment is based on Education Week’s “Chance-for-Success Index,” which surveys a range of social and educational conditions that affect a person’s future outcomes.
  • The second report examines school finance and the role funding equity plays in educational quality.
  • The last installment, released in September, examines the K-12 Achievement Index, which consists of 18 district achievement measures related to reading and math performance, high school graduation rates and the results of Advanced Placement exams.

The three measures are combined at the end of the year and each state receives a final grade. Read more about the first two installments here.

The K-12 Achievement Index indicators are represented in three subcategories: status, equity and change.

Status: What is California’s current student performance? Education Week gives the state a D and ranks it 33rd in the nation.

Change: Has California’s student performance changed over time? California received a C and ranked sixth in this category; the national average is a C-minus.

Equity: How large are poverty-based gaps in California? The state gets a C-plus in this category and is ranked 47th; the nation as a whole receives a B.

How did California perform in the final measure and what is its overall ranking? Along with the nation as a whole, California ranks a solid C, and the state finishes 28th out of the 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

Who’s at the top?

Looking at academic achievement alone, Massachusetts comes out on top with a score of 88.4; 44 states scored a C or lower. But it’s New Jersey with the number one spot overall, due to its stronger showing in the school finance category in which it ranked third in the nation. Rounding out the top five spots are Connecticut, Maryland and New Hampshire. At the bottom (listed from last place) are Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Nevada and New Mexico.