Study Finds North Carolina Schools Improved Significantly

NC Jumps from 37th to 19th Best in the Country During Last Two Years

August 1, 2016

Raleigh, N.C. – Over the past two years, North Carolina has improved 18-spots in Wallet Hub’s rankings of the quality of education in all 50 states, breaking through to the top-20 best schools in the country. In 2014, Wallet Hub ranked North Carolina schools 37 out of 50 states plus the District of Columbia. But in newly released rankings for 2016, North Carolina improved to No. 19.

“Improving education and teacher pay have been our top priorities since day one,” said Governor McCrory. “Strategic investments in raising teacher pay, textbooks, digital learning resources and reading coaches have improved our state’s overall education ranking and helped contribute to our state’s best high school graduation rate in history.”

Governor McCrory has made improving education and teacher pay a top priority of his administration. After teacher pay in North Carolina fell behind more than any other state before he took office, North Carolina’s latest budget will raise average teacher pay in North Carolina to more than $50,000 plus benefits for the first time in state history. Textbook funding has tripled and education spending overall has increased 13 percent under Governor McCrory’s leadership.

In 2013, Governor McCrory established the Center for Safer Schools to help schools implement policies to improve school safety. Wallet Hub found that North Carolina now ranks 11th in the country for safe schools.

Wallet Hub’s study measured the quality and safety of each state’s schools across 17 key metrics. The study’s methodology can be found below or by clicking here.

School-System Quality – Total Points: 80

  • Presence of State’s Public Schools Within the “Top 700 Best U.S. Schools”: Full Weight (~4.21 Points)
  • Remote-Learning Opportunities from Online Public Schools: Half Weight (~2.11 Points)
  • Dropout Rate: Double Weight (~8.42 Points)
  • High School Graduation Rate for Low-Income Students: Full Weight (~4.21 Points)
  • “Bookworms” Ranking: Half Weight (~2.11 Points)
  • Pupil-Teacher Ratio: Full Weight (~4.21 Points)
  • Percentage of Licensed/Certified Public K–12 Teachers: Full Weight (~4.21 Points)
  • Math Test Scores: Double Weight (~8.42 Points)
  • Reading Test Scores: Double Weight (~8.42 Points)
  • Percentage of High School Graduates Who Completed an Advanced Placement (AP) Exam: Double Weight (~8.42 Points)
  • Average SAT Score: Double Weight (~8.42 Points)
  • Average ACT Score: Double Weight (~8.42 Points)
  • Percentage of High School Graduates Who Completed the ACT and/or SAT: Double Weight (~8.42 Points)

School-System Safety – Total Points: 20

  • School Safety: Double Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Disciplinary-Incidents Rate per 100,000 Students: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Bullying-Incidents Rate: Double Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Youth Incarceration Rate per 100,000 Population under Age 21: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
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