Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to

Thursday, January 04, 2007

From Cradle to Career - 2007 Quality Counts Education Report

Quality Counts 2007

- editor's note - this post is taken from Education Week's news release regarding the 2007 Quality Counts report - From Cradle to Career - follow the link under the title or the link below for the full report and much more information...

A child born in Virginia is significantly more likely to experience success throughout life than the average child born in the United States, while a child born in New Mexico is likely to face an accumulating series of hurdles both educationally and economically, according to an analysis published by Education Week.

The analysis by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center is based on the “Chance-for-Success Index,” which tracks state efforts to connect education from preschool through postsecondary education and training. The index was developed by the EPE Research Center for Quality Counts 2007: From Cradle to Career, Connecting American Education from Birth to Adulthood, produced by Education Week with support from the Pew Center on the States. The report is available online at

The Chance-for-Success Index provides a perspective on the importance of education throughout a person’s lifetime and 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.

Virginia, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire rank at the top of the index, while Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, and New Mexico lag significantly behind the national average in descending order.

“Smart states, like smart companies, try to make the most of their investments by ensuring that young people’s education is connected from one stage to the next – reducing the chances that students will be lost along the way or require costly remedial programs to acquire skills or knowledge they could have learned right from the start,” said Virginia B. Edwards, the editor and publisher of Education Week and Quality Counts.

The 13 indicators that make up the index capture key performance or attainment outcomes at various stages in a person’s lifetime or are correlated with later success. For example, in the early-childhood years, indicators include the percent of children living in families that earn a decent wage and the percent of children with at least one parent who has a postsecondary degree – factors that research shows have an impact on how well children perform in school.

Christopher B. Swanson, the director of the EPE Research Center reported that, “We find that a child’s life prospects depend greatly on where he or she lives.”

- editor's note - Minnesota ranked third nationally in providing opportunities for its children to succeed in life, just behind Virginia and Connecticut. Wisconsin ranked 8th, Nebraska 9th and Iowa 11th. North Dakota was in a three-way tie for 12th with Kansas and Illinois.

Minnesota scored will in eleven areas, including high school graduation rate (79%) and adults with incomes at or above the national averge (55%). North Dakota did well in nine areas, including high school graduation rate (83 %); young adults enrolled in two or four year colleges or with degrees (58%); and children with at least one parent with a postsencondary degree (58% - the highest in the nation). But North Dakota lagged in income at or aboce the national average (42%) and preschool enrollment (26%).

Minnesota and North Dakota were rated highly in an evaluation of achievement for K-12 education, tying for fifth in the nation behind Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont and Connecticut. Although the findings in the report may indicate that where a child grows up matters, growing up in more rural states, especially in the Midwest and Northern Great Plains, can be more of an asset than Education Week mentions in their release.

Agree? Disagree? Post a comment here or contact John Crabtree,

Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.


  • At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    another example of small schools and rural schools making a difference in the lives of children, and everyone else for that matter

  • At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You know, some of what the Education Week people say is really condescending toward rural states. But their research shows that a lot of rural states are doing quite well by their children.

  • At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Only 44% of adults in Nebraska are at or above the national median income. That is the only category where Nebraska was below average. That says something good about Nebraska.

  • At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was surprised to see that only 70% of Iowa children are enrolled in Kindergarten programs, 5% below the national average. I would have thought it would be much higher than that.

  • At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is bullshit, their whole ranking favors eastern cities because it is so focused on income. Housing costs in the rural Midwest, for example, are so much cheaper that, at least, should offset some of that wage data.

    Whiting, Iowa

  • At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i think income makes a huge difference, if you don't have the money for decent shelter, food, health care, etc. kids will fall behind in education and it's all down hill after that.

  • At 6:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This report has a lot of eastern elitism in it. Yes, wages are important, as are safe communities, small class sizes, commitment to education, etc. Rural communities have a lot more of those things and this report does not consider that as much.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home