Core Resources Needed to Improve Our Education Systems

If we are to improve quality and access in our school districts, we need to do more than focus on outcomes. We also need a complete picture of the components generally believed to ensure that every student receives a meaningful opportunity to learn.

Based on previous Opportunity to Learn research, we all know that student success for all requires four key educational components:

  1. High-quality early childhood education
  2. Highly effective teachers
  3. Well-funded instructional materials
  4. College preparatory curriculum for all students

How do the states rank in providing these four core components?

 State High-Quality Early Childhood Education Highly Effective Teachers Well-Funded Instructional Materials College Preparatory Curriculum
Alabama 27 26 46 19
Alaska No Program 2 11 23
Arizona 35 10 50 48
Arkansas 7 1 33 1
California 23 25 29 43
Colorado 32 13 37 10
Connecticut 4 34 3 34
Delaware 11 48 9 37
District of Columbia No Program 2 5 51
Florida 17 21 44 20
Georgia 3 35 25 31
Hawaii No Program 8 18 16
Idaho No Program 36 47 22
Illinois 14 46 24 42
Indiana No Program 49 21 29
Iowa 33 15 28 11
Kansas 27 33 31 7
Kentucky 8 22 42 44
Louisiana 4 30 34 46
Maine 31 16 8 12
Maryland 21 32 13 35
Massachusetts 23 28 5 15
Michigan 8 50 22 38
Minnesota 23 39 16 17
Mississippi No Program 40 48 28
Missouri 35 42 30 26
Montana No Program 4 27 27
Nebraska 38 31 17 36
Nevada 33 23 45 39
New Hampshire No Program 44 10 6
New Jersey 1 37 2 49
New Mexico 29 7 39 4
New York 8 43 1 41
North Carolina 11 3 38 32
North Dakota No Program 5 26 40
Ohio 37 41 23 5
Oklahoma 4 6 49 30
Oregon No Program 24 32 18
Pennsylvania 17 45 12 33
Rhode Island No Program 9 7 45
South Carolina 26 27 36 50
South Dakota No Program 14 41 8
Tennessee 14 18 40 25
Texas 14 11 43 24
Utah No Program 20 50 14
Vermont 17 17 4 2
Virginia 22 29 20 21
Washington 17 38 35 13
West Virginia 2 12 19 47
Wisconsin 11 47 14 3
Wyoming No Program 19 15 9

All students cannot receive a true opportunity to learn without access to these four resources. And yet today, we do not even have the data and tools necessary to judge whether they have access to these key resources. As the federal government and states invest in the development of new data systems, it is essential that we have a universal index for determining the access and quality of the resources provided in each state.