Often educational success is understood as opposed to the concept of school failure. Usually quantifiable indicators are used to measure the phenomena, with little criticism of the reductionism this option poses. In this article we query about how we could assess educational success from a wider perspective in our context. First of all, this study analyses the common principles that appear in the forewords of the different Spanish Education Laws that have been in force during the democratic period in our country since 1978. Secondly, through several research articles about this subject, we identify the different conceptualizations and approaches to measure the phenomena in our territory. The analysis highlights that educational success or failure is mainly measured through indicators that use academic grades or standardized diagnostic tests. Our main finding is that there is a preference to link school success and failure to academic achievement, whereas other goals expressed in the Educational Laws are considered secondary. Therefore, we conclude the article with a methodological proposal to assess educational success from a multi-method approach that takes into account the different objectives explicit in the Educational Laws.