CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, the original version of this story misrepresented the views of Deborah Eaker-Rich. Eaker-Rich did not say she supported some of the report's findings nor did she question the grading scale. She said the report makes some important observations and noted the entire nation is graded poorly in the report. She also did not say those in the School of Education are making moves to change policy. Rather, she said they look at policy and research the impact of it on education. The story has been updated to reflect these changes.
The report ranked schools according to a variety of categories, including the emphasis the state places on high stakes testing, the professionalization of teaching and the amount of tax money spent on public education by the state.
Each state’s public education system received an overall GPA — no state scored better than a “C,” and North Carolina received an “F.”
“We give low marks to states that devalue public education, attack teachers and place high stakes outcomes on standardized tests,” Diane Ravitch, president of the Network for Public Education, said in the introduction to the report.
The highest ranking states in the report were Iowa, Nebraska and Vermont, all of which received a cumulative GPA of 2.5. North Carolina was one of the five lowest ranked states, receiving a cumulative GPA of .83.
“The political climate for public education in N.C. has been rough in recent years,” said Diana Lys, assistant dean of program assessment, accreditation and teacher preparation in the UNC School of Education.
Lys said she attributes many of the shortcomings of public education in the state to legislative changes by policymakers.