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NEWS RELEASES 2001-02 :: JUNE 18, 2002


North Carolina has the best testing program in the country, according to a new study released today by The Princeton Review.

Texas ranked second and New York ranked third in the report, Testing the Testers 2002: An Annual Ranking of State Accountability Systems. The Princeton Review collected data from each state and the District of Columbia. States were ranked on 25 indicators in four criteria: test alignment to the states' curriculum standards, test quality, openness of the testing program to public scrutiny, and the extent to which the accountability system is used to support school improvement.

A press release from The Princeton Review quoted Steven Hodas, executive vice president of The Princeton Review and author of the study. He said, "North Carolina's testing program is head-and-shoulders above the other states, including those ranked at the top." The study is available at

State Board of Education Chairman Phil Kirk called this report, "additional verification of our state's testing and accountability program." He said, "We know there are improvements that can and must be made to our testing and accountability program. But, it is gratifying to know that the hard work and commitment that have gone into the development of our program are recognized nationally. This confirms what Presidents Clinton and Bush said in their State of the Union addresses when they praised North Carolina's accountability program."

State Superintendent Mike Ward said that the new No Child Left Behind federal education law is putting even more emphasis on states' testing programs. "We're ahead of many states because we have a testing program that has been underway for 10 years. We're continuously improving our program. Student achievement in our state is reaching higher levels, in part, because of our aligned curriculum, testing and accountability efforts."

North Carolina earned a total score of 178.5 on the 200-point scale. Our state received a B+ for alignment, an A for test quality, a B for sunshine (openness), and an A for policy. The next closest state was Texas with a score of 167.5. The Princeton rating is slightly better than that given in the Education Week Quality Counts report. In the Quality Counts report, North Carolina earned a B rating for standards and accountability in 2002.

The Princeton Review is a national provider of test preparation and college admissions services. It does not provide any of North Carolina's testing services.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.