Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Education Week's Annual "Quality Counts" Grades the Schools

Parental School Choice Group Says Report Reflects Crisis in N.C Schools: PEFNC calls for change following research showing low academic achievement

RALEIGH, NC (January 23, 2008) – In response to a recent report released by national news magazine Education Week, Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, a statewide parental school choice organization, today characterized the results as an indication of the need for serious reform.

According to Education Week’s annual “Quality Counts evaluation of the nation’s schools, North Carolina received a D+ in K-12 achievement, and ranks 38th in the nation in high school graduation (public high school students who graduated with a diploma in 2004).

North Carolina was given overall letter grades based on ratings in six areas: chance-for-success; K-12 achievement; standards, assessments, and accountability; transitions and alignment; the teaching profession; and school finance.

“The people of North Carolina deserve better from our state’s education system. This report by Education Week should compel our leaders to take no option off the table when discussing education reform,” said Darrell Allison, president of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina.

“Access to a high-quality education, whether in public or non-public schools, should be a top priority in this state,” Allison continued. “Only by providing parents the freedom to choose the best schools for their children will we begin to transform this system and put all of our children on the road to success.”

While Missouri fared a little better than North Carolina on this grading scale, we need to strive to do better than our C- grade. The breakdown of the grading can be seen in this article. Personally, I was never satisfied if I received a C- in anything, nor would I be happy if my child were to receive that grade. Why should we accept our schools to be getting that grade? While we rank higher in graduation rates, Missouri ranks 18th in the national graduation rates, we rank quite low in other areas. We rank31st in elementary reading and 33rd in middle school mathematics. This should alert Missourians it is time to change the ways things are done. Just as the article said, this should compel our leaders, citizens, and parents to seriously look at every option.

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