Quality and Proficiency in Our Public Schools
In Lost Opportunity, the Schott Foundation for Public Education uses a single common yardstick to measure the quality of education in the United States and another to measure equity—the chance that a student from a disadvantaged group will have access to a quality education. Unfortunately, neither “quality” “nor equity” are often measured when it comes to public education, at least not not in combination and not on a state-by-state basis.
Lost Opportunity looks at each state and its success in getting ALL students academically proficient. Using NAEP as the yardstick, Lost Opportunity uses the percentage of students scoring proficient or better on the eighth grade NAEP exam as the measure of overall quality achieved by a state’s public schools.
|States Sorted by 8th Grade NAEP Proficiency
(Percentage of all students at or above proficient)
|Rank||Jurisdictions||All Students at or
|51||District of Columbia||12%|
One important point that should not be missed by anyone seeking to improve the quality of K-12 education in the United States: even in the most-proficient state in the nation – Massachusetts – only 43 percent of eighth graders are scoring proficient or better on the reading NAEP. That means that, for now, quality is defined by having a two-in-five chance of reading at grade level by junior high school. We still have miles to go before we are providing all students a true opportunity to learn, and expecting all students to be academically proficient.