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ERIC Number: EJ910556
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
"Quality Counts" and the Chance-for-Success Index
Raymond, Margaret
Education Next, v10 n2 p77-80 Spr 2010
From the moment of birth, Americans have a fascination with seeing how they measure up. They are a nation obsessed with the story told in numbers. The quality of public schools has been measured in innumerable ways, and stakeholders may draw on any number of sources for rankings to support a particular agenda. Each winter, "Education Week" issues "Quality Counts" as a magazine supplement to its weekly newspaper. The "Quality Counts" rankings are eagerly anticipated, thoroughly perused, and widely quoted. The rankings are also frequently misunderstood. Among the most widely cited of the "Quality Counts" ranking schemes is the Chance-for-Success Index (CFSI), which attempts to measure a state's capacity for helping young people succeed. The editors of "Quality Counts" gather and report a variety of measures that reflect current education and policy performance across all 50 states and the District of Columbia and, through comparison, encourage states to take actions that would lead to improvements in their ratings. Nowhere do the "Quality Counts" editors show how or why the Chance-for-Success Index is a good predictor of success. Instead, they provide statistics that divert attention away from the things that actually do matter, such as high-quality teaching, a good range of school options, and success in early elementary schools. There is risk in including variables that have no real impact on the result being studied. In this article, the author stresses that narrowing the scope of the Chance-for-Success Index to factors both causally related to school achievement and under the control of state education officials or school districts would improve its value and deliver the right signals to states. (Contains 1 table.) [The author was assisted by the CREDO Team at Stanford University, consisting of Kenneth Surratt, Devora Davis, Edward Cremata, Emily Peltason, Meghan Cotter Mazzola, Kathleen Dickey, and Rosemary Brock.]
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Early Childhood Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress