The annual Education Week Quality Counts report gave Mississippi a C in the Chance-for-Success category and ranked the state 46th in the nation. The average state earned a C-plus.
The report, the first of three Quality Counts installments being rolled out in 2019, features the Education Week Research Center’s Chance-for-Success Index, first launched in 2007. In 2013, Mississippi received a D-plus in this category. In 2018, Mississippi received a C-minus, and this year a C.
The Quality Counts release stated that a long-term look shows that some states have boosted their opportunity scores over time, including Mississippi. The release highlighted Mississippi for its strong gains in parental education levels, 4th grade reading, and 8th grade math.
“We are encouraged by the progress that Mississippi has seen over the last several years. We know that improved educational outcomes happen over time, and we believe that as we continue to focus on high expectations for children, we will see greater academic achievement, which ultimately leads to a better quality of life for the state,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.
The index analyzes 13 indicators that trace the arc from early childhood to formal school and into the working world. Those indicators fall into three subsections: early foundations, school years and adult outcomes.
For early foundations, which examines factors that help children get off to a good start, Mississippi earns a C-plus and ranks 44th. This subcategory includes family income, parent education and parental employment. The average state posts a B.
Mississippi receives a C-minus for the school years, a subcategory focusing on metrics related to pre-k enrollment through postsecondary participation. The state is 43rd in the nation in this area. By comparison, the nation earns a C-plus. This subcategory includes preschool and kindergarten enrollment, 4th grade reading, 8th grade math, high school graduation and percent of young adults enrolled in postsecondary education or with a degree.
In adult outcomes, based on postsecondary educational attainment and workforce indicators, Mississippi’s grade is a C-minus. The national average is a C-plus. Among those indicators are adult education, income, and steady employment levels.
In June, the second installment of Quality Counts will examine public school finance on a 50-state basis and the roles that K-12 funding and equity play in education quality. September’s Quality Counts will feature the K-12 Achievement Index, capturing the academic performance of the nation and the states through the lens of test scores, graduation rates, and the poverty gap, among other factors. And as a capstone, the September Quality Counts report will unveil Education Week’s highly anticipated summative grades and scores.
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