Overview of the Index of Education Quality

Overview of the Index of Education Quality®

For too many years, institutions have been judged based upon disparate and unrelated summative data points that fail to paint an accurate, holistic review of the quality of an institution. The scores have been used to target schools for punitive interventions as opposed to providing a formative assessment that guides sustainable progress and improvement. In 2013, AdvancED introduced an innovative and state-of-the-art framework to measure institutional performance that offers a deeper understanding of organizational effectiveness. The Index of Education Quality® (IEQ®) provides a holistic measure of an institution’s overall performance based on a comprehensive set of indicators and evaluative criteria. As a formative tool for improvement, it pinpoints areas of strength as well as those in need of support or focus.

In the past, labels such as accredited, advised, warned or on probation described the status of an institution after an accreditation review relative to a set of static standards. These labels, with the exception of accredited, were oftentimes perceived as a retributive classification and not as a formative measure by which a school or system could improve. Given the most critical aspect of an institution’s work is optimizing student learning, each institution's initial IEQ establishes a starting point to assess and guide the institution on the journey of continuous improvement. Institutions can use the IEQ as a benchmark to focus their attention, activities and actions, unleashing student potential through positive impacts and measurable improvements.

The IEQ score is generated by combining the ratings of the performance indicators within each AdvancED Standard, the evaluative criteria from the Student Performance Diagnostic, and results from the Stakeholder Feedback Diagnostic (surveys of students, parents, and staff/teachers). To better leverage the information obtained from an institution’s score, the IEQ composite score may be segmented into three sub-scores of performance, called “domains:”

  • Teaching and Learning Impact
  • Leadership Capacity
  • Resource Utilization

The domain scores may be further segmented to provide ratings and feedback on a combination of interrelated indicators and evaluative criteria. The indicators and evaluative criteria contain performance levels with detailed descriptors. These descriptors are a valuable source of guidance for setting goals and targets for improvement. By analyzing the ratings through the lens of the performance levels, institutions can identify their areas of strength as well as design, implement and monitor targeted improvement efforts.

The IEQ is not an average of averages. Rather, it is the aggregate of all individual indicators and evaluative criteria that apply to the institution. The criteria ensure that the institution can take actions to optimize learning for all students. All institutions completing an External Review and any follow-up Accreditation Progress Report will receive an IEQ score.

Through the External Review process, institutions will continue to receive a comprehensive report of the team’s findings with recognition of powerful practices, opportunities for improvement, and required actions. If an institution fails to meet established criteria at an acceptable level, the institution has the ongoing responsibility to make improvements and be re-evaluated by AdvancED and, in doing so, improve its effectiveness and corresponding IEQ. As institutions document changes and submit them for review, their IEQ scores are updated to reflect their success and guide the next steps on their improvement journey.

Individual schools within system accreditation have self-reported IEQ scores. That is, an individual school’s IEQ is based on ratings they provide for the indicators and evaluative criteria while the system monitors and ensures the accuracy of the self-reported score.

The addition of the AdvancED Index of Education Quality solidifies the accreditation process as a formative measure for continuous improvement by placing an institution on a continuum of performance and providing an understanding of its current reality and a vision for its potential.