NEWS RELEASES 2014-15

NEWS RELEASES 2014-15 :: APRIL 2, 2015

NC RECEIVES ALL As FOR ITS PROFICIENCY STANDARDS FOR K-12 READING AND MATH;
EDUCATION NEXT JOURNAL STUDIED RIGOR OF STATE STANDARDS AGAINST NAEP

North Carolina is one of five states to receive all As for its grade 4 and 8 mathematics and reading proficiency standards, according to a new study published by Education Next Journal on K-12 education. The state also was recognized for improving its standards, moving from a C- in 2011 to an A overall for its 2013 standards.

The analysis done in this report, available online at http://educationnext.org/states-raise-proficiency-standards-math-reading/, considered each state’s standards against the standards set by the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). The report’s authors estimated each state’s proficiency standards in grade 4 and 8 reading and math by identifying the difference between the state’s reported student proficiency rates and the corresponding proficiency rates provided by NAEP. North Carolina’s standards since 2011 have moved closer to the rigorous standards employed by NAEP, often called The Nation’s Report Card.

The state grades reported in the Education Next Journal analysis reflect the rigor of state standards, not student performance in meeting those standards. The article’s authors, Paul E. Peterson and Matthew Ackerman, note that their analysis essentially grades states on their “truth in advertising” about student performance against an internationally accepted scale.

“North Carolina has used our experience with the NAEP to see the need for raising expectations and setting higher standards for our students,” said State Superintendent June Atkinson. “NAEP standards for reading and mathematics are very rigorous, and we have used NAEP as an important measure to guide us to higher expectations.”

Atkinson also thanked Rep. Craig Horn for his attention to the Education Next Journal report. “I appreciate Rep. Horn’s recognition of North Carolina progress, especially his thank you to our teachers and students for working toward more challenging goals even when this work has been met with resistance,” Atkinson said.

North Carolina is one of only six states to improve by as much as two letter grades between 2011 and 2013.

North Carolina overhauled all content standards for student learning in every grade and subject in 2010. These new standards were implemented in the state’s classrooms for the first time in 2012-13. State assessments aligned to the new content standards were implemented in that same year.

NAEP assesses reading and math in grades 4 and 8 every two years in each state. North Carolina has participated in NAEP since 1992 when it was voluntary. Beginning with the 2003 NAEP test administration, all states have been required to participate in NAEP.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 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.