State of the States: Holding All States to High Standards


Below is Education Week’s 14th edition of Quality Counts with analysis from the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center on state education policies. Each state is graded on four policy and performance categories: the Chance-for-Success Index; the teaching profession; standards, assessments, and accountability; and school finance. Here is a summary of the major findings and how LifeBound’s programs and materials can help the U.S.’s education system achieve a 4.0:

1) The Chance-for-Success Index – Provides insight on the role education plays in promoting successful outcomes in each of the following stages of a person’s life: “the early-childhood years, participation and performance in formal K-12 education, and adult educational attainment and workforce outcomes.” The states collectively earned a C-plus with Massachusetts earning the only A and Mississippi, Nevada, and New Mexico receiving D-pluses. LifeBound can help with the “participation and performance in K-12” stage by increasing performance, giving students motivation to participate, and giving students the skills they need to enhance their future education and career goals.

2) The Teaching Profession – Focuses on three critical aspects of state teacher policy: “accountability for quality; incentives and allocation; and efforts to build and support the capacity of the teaching workforce.” The states collectively earned a C with South Carolina earning the only A and Alaska and Oregon both receiving an F. LifeBound offers training programs that help teachers become more effective through coaching skills and powerful question asking techniques. Our curriculum is also a turnkey option to help teachers augment traditional classroom content with key life skills.

3) Standards, Assessments, and Accountability – When examining these policies, the states collectively earn a B with eleven states awarded A’s (West Virginia receiving a near-perfect score) and Montana and Nebraska receiving D’s. With the national movement towards educational standards, it is important to note that each of LifeBound’s high school books include 21st Century skills and that all of LifeBound’s books correspond with the American School Counselor Association’s guidelines. Both skill sets prepare students for school, career and life success in tomorrow’s global marketplace.

4) School Finance – State spending pattern are graded by evaluating “educational expenditures against some relevant criterion or benchmark, such as regional differences in costs, the national average for per-pupil expenditures, or the total size of a state’s budget.” The states collectively earned a C with Wyoming awarded the highest grade, an A-minus, and Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, and Utah received D. Schools should look at their spending as an investment: what “ripple effects” will an expenditure have on teacher quality, student success and potential for future school funding? With LifeBound, we conduct pre- and post-assessments to help schools measure the success of our programs in concrete ways. Our books are substantially discounted compared to our competition because we believe in our mission of helping students develop academic, emotional and social success. If the purchase of one set of books, curriculum and training can have substantial future effects on all areas of a school’s effectiveness it is a smart expenditure.

For more information on LifeBound visit or email


Education Week
January 14, 2010
State of the States: Holding All States to High Standards
Fifty-State Report Card Finds Progress, Challenges
By Amy M. Hightower

The 14th edition of Education Week’s Quality Counts continues the report’s tradition of tracking key education indicators and grading the states on their policy efforts and outcomes. This edition features new analysis from the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center on state policies related to the teaching profession as well as standards, assessments, and accountability. It also highlights the state of the states in two performance-focused areas: the Chance-for-Success Index and school finance.

This year’s special focus on state efforts to develop common standards and assessments, featured elsewhere in the report, also draws on original data and analysis from the research center.

In the print edition of Quality Counts 2010, readers will find separate state grades for each of the four policy and performance categories updated for this year’s report: the Chance-for-Success Index; the teaching profession; standards, assessments, and accountability; and school finance.

The 88 indicators on which these grades are based were drawn primarily from original survey data and analysis by the EPE Research Center, and supplemented by information from a number of outside organizations. Summative state grades that incorporate additional indicator categories that were not updated this year appear online.

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2 Responses to “State of the States: Holding All States to High Standards”

  1. Paige Flores says:

    K12 education is the best. Everyone should look out for it.”-;

  2. K12 education is always the best”*,

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