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North Carolina Makes Education Gains, SREB Report Says

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The Southern Regional Education Board works with 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Based in Atlanta, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region.

North Carolina Outperforms Nation in Reading and Math, Makes Other Education Gains, SREB Report Says

Atlanta, Georgia - June 26, 2012 - North Carolina improved public education by several key measures in the last decade, according to a new report from the Southern Regional Education Board.

Across the region, SREB states led the nation in gains since 2002 in areas such as student reading and math achievement and high school graduation rates. And they made this progress during the long economic downturn, rising child poverty rates, and rapid growth of an increasingly diverse population.

A Decade of Progress is a landmark look back at each state’s and the region’s education achievements since the states adopted 12 ambitious Challenge to Lead Goals for Education in 2002. Among the highlights:

  • North Carolina’s fourth-graders outperformed the nation and region in reading and math achievement at the Basic level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The state’s eighth-graders did so in math. In 2011, 68 percent of the state’s fourth-graders scored at or above NAEP Basic in reading, topping the nation by 2 points. Eighty-eight percent scored at or above NAEP Basic in math, topping the nation by 6 points. The same year, 75 percent of eighth-graders scored at or above this level in math, topping the nation by 3 points.
  • Fourth-graders from low-income families narrowed achievement gaps on reading and math at the NAEP Basic level from 2003 to 2011 in the state. Black and Hispanic fourth-graders narrowed the gaps with white students in math — as did black fourth-graders in reading.
  • In 2011, the percentage of fourth-graders in the state who scored at or above the NAEP Proficient level in reading and math exceeded the national rate for their peers — and the percentage of eighth-graders exceeded the U.S. rate in math.
  • The rise in North Carolina’s high school graduation rate outpaced the regional and national gains. From 1999 to 2009, the state’s rate rose 10 percentage points, to 75 percent, the same rate as the SREB region in 2009. The U.S. rate rose 5 points, to 76 percent.
  • At 59 percent, North Carolina’s on-time college graduation rate at public four-year institutions in 2010 topped the region (53 percent) and nation (56 percent).
 
“These gains
 are an important step forward and confirm that many of the policies North Carolina has adopted are making a difference,” said SREB President Dave Spence. “Education has been a top priority for SREB states. The challenge ahead is to focus on what we know works to improve public education.”

North Carolina: A Decade of Progress details the state’s demographic and income changes, school performance standards, pre-K through postsecondary student achievement, adult learning and job training, and more. Download the full PDF here.

The Southern Regional Education Board works with 16 member states to improve public education: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Based in Atlanta, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region.

SREB tracks progress of its 16 member states on the Challenge to Lead Goals for Education, adopted by state leaders to help the region lead the nation in educational progress at all levels.

In addition to these state-by-state reports, in the coming weeks SREB will release analyses of region-wide progress on student achievement in NAEP scores, high school graduation rates and college completion trends. SREB expects to announce updated Goals for Education in September.

 
North Carolina: A Decade of Progress

 
© 2012 Southern Regional Education Board. All rights reserved.
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