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The Quality of Quality Counts

The 2007 edition of the annual Quality Counts report marked a departure from previous years by expanding its focus beyond the K-12 education system. In addition to such traditional issues as test scores and state education policies, the 2007 report also examines factors that connect K-12 schooling to early childhood wellbeing, the postsecondary educational environment, and economic conditions in the states. To see how states fare in light of this expanded view of education's importance throughout a person's lifetime, the EPE Research Center created the Chance-for-Success Index. Calculated for each state, the Chance-for-Success Index provides a state-focused perspective on the importance of education throughout a person's lifetime. The index is based on 13 indicators that highlight whether young children get off to a good start, succeed in elementary and secondary school, and hit key educational and income benchmarks as adults.

Reactions to the report, and the Chance-for-Success Index varied greatly, from state officials praising the cradle to career focus, to organizations lamenting a perceived focus on state demographics rather than state standards. What do you think of the report's new focus? Is the Chance-for-Success Index a fair assessment of the states?

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