January 3, 2007
Director of Communications
Public Information Officer
A national education journal says Virginia children are the most likely in the nation to experience success as they move from childhood to adulthood. Education Week, in its annual "Quality Counts" report on the progress of the nation's public schools, says that the typical student in the commonwealth "enjoys higher achievement and is more likely to finish high school and continue on to college than in other states."
The Quality Counts 2007 report, which was released today, includes Education Week's new "Chance for Success Index" combining more than a dozen indicators that "span an individual's life from cradle to career." Virginia is ranked first in the nation on the Chance for Success Index, followed by Connecticut, Minnesota, and New Jersey.
"Education is the key to opportunity, and Virginia's public schools continue to demonstrate accountability for preparing young people for success in today's global economy," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Billy K. Cannaday Jr. "While celebrating this national recognition, educators at the state and local levels must remain focused and committed to ensuring that all children in the commonwealth possess the knowledge and skills necessary to rise to their full potential."
The Chance for Success indicators include student achievement in elementary reading and middle school mathematics, the educational attainment of parents, parental employment and employment stability, the English fluency of parents, preschool enrollment, kindergarten enrollment, graduation, participation in post secondary education, adult educational attainment, and annual family income.
The Quality Counts 2007 report also offers a new "State Achievement Index" that looks at 15 indicators of student performance and increased achievement. The indicators include the performance of students in reading and mathematics on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, graduation, and the achievement of students on Advanced Placement examinations. Virginia ranked first in the South and fourth in the nation on the State Achievement Index, behind Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont.
The report is available online at http://www.edweek.org/ew/toc/2007/01/04/index.html.