Earlier this week Education Week released Quality Counts 2016. ( subscription required) The report gives overall grades and scores to states based on criteria such as chances for success, K-12 achievement and school finance. In 2016, the nation received an overall grade of C (74.4), the same letter grade as last year. North Carolina received an overall grade of C-(70.6). The state’s neighbors were pretty much in the same neighborhood; Georgia C- (72.0); Tennessee C- (70.9) South Carolina C- (70.0). In a ranking of the states, North Carolina finished 37th
Education Week has sought to provide measures of state education quality for almost twenty years. You can quibble with the methodology. Nevertheless QC represents one of the more accepted and longstanding attempts to get a handle on an elusive topic.
North Carolina’s rank of 37th should raise concerns for obvious reasons; even more so since the state received a $400 million Race-to-the-Top grant to transform the public schools. In 2011, North Carolina’s Quality Counts ranking was a “C ” grade and ranked 19th . Five years later, it’s a “C-” grade and eighteen places lower.
Did funding from Race to the Top improve education? I know it’s not a one-to-one exact match, but the lack of evidence speaks very loudly.