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Toward a Composite Index of School Performance

Richard Rothstein
The Elementary School Journal
Vol. 100, No. 5, Special Issue: Non-Subject-Matter Outcomes of Schooling [II] (May, 2000), pp. 409-441
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1002278
Page Count: 33
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Toward a Composite Index of School Performance
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Abstract

School controversies focus mostly on academic test scores. But Americans insist that schools have broader purposes, including also equity of outcomes, citizenship, social ethics, and health. And Americans want children to be happy in schools. To assess progress in meeting these purposes requires a "composite index of schools," construction of which requires judgments that balance all the measures. In a proposed composite, core academic outcomes have the largest weight, 40%. Nonacademic outcomes (citizenship, health, teamwork, and social ethics) together have a 25% weight. Because accurate measurement of all outcomes remains limited, the index also includes process indicators (school completion, teacher qualifications, and parent involvement) that reflect the probability of adequate outcomes. Finally, 20% reflects whether children are secure in school, the adult attention they receive, and the condition of school facilities. Accountability reforms, without composite outcome measurements, cannot assess whether schools deliver the balanced educations Americans demand.

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