Parent Friendly Schools In NC
Special Report - December 2, 2009
The majority of North Carolina’s 115 school districts earned C grades for their level of parent-friendliness in a new report from the John Locke Foundation (JLF). The report, “Parent Friendly Schools, 2009,” is the second annual evaluation of all 115 of the state’s school districts on whether or not they “provide children a sound basic education in a stable and safe school environment that is responsive to the needs of children and the concerns of parents.” JLF education policy analyst, Terry Stoops, used four categories to rank schools that most parents feel strongly about: school administration, teachers, safety, and academic achievement. In these categories, 12 different measurements were used, including: school crime statistics, the stability of the teacher workforce, survey data on the perception of teachers regarding how well the administration communicates with parents/students, and student performance on end-of-grade tests.
Among the report’s major findings:
- No school district in North Carolina received an “A”
- 17 school districts earned a “B,” with Clay County earning the highest ranking in the report (a B+, up from B last year). Other districts earning Bs include Cherokee, Ashe, Camden, and Polk.
- 75 school districts received C’s, (including Wake, New Hanover, Asheboro)
- 19 school districts earned D’s (including Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Forsyth, and Durham schools)
- 4 school districts earned F’s (including Bertie, Hoke, Vance and Weldon City Schools).
“The good news is that the number of overall D grades dropped from 27 school districts to 19 districts this year, while the number of C's climbed from 64 to 75,” said Stoops in a press release. “The bad news is that most districts are still earning C's and D's. No district earns an overall A grade, and the number of B's dipped slightly this year from 19 to 17.”
According to Stoops, smaller school districts in the state generally scored higher than larger districts. He found that districts in Western North Carolina scored the best grades, with seven out of 10 of the top ranked school districts located in this part of the state. Schools in the Triad, Triangle, Charlotte and northeastern regions of North Carolina did the worst. The report notes that further research is necessary to determine the “combination of factors that contribute” to school districts earning higher grades in the report, but adds that “district size and high quality administrative and/or teaching staff appear to be outstanding reasons why districts fared well in this ranking.”
“With no threat of losing clientele to competitors, many schools and school districts behave like the monopolies they are,” Stoops said. “These school districts focus on strengthening the organization's position and goals, rather than meeting the needs of their clientele. One need not look further than the low regard that many teachers and administrators have toward parents to find evidence of this organization-first mentality.”
Copyright © 2009. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.