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Cornelius News

New study ranks NC schools about in the middle nationwide

July 26. WalletHub compared K-12 public schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia across 32 key metrics and North Carolina came out in the middle in terms of overall quality.

The analysis accounted for test performance, funding, safety, class size and instructor credentials, as well as graduation rates and math test scores.

North Carolina public schools came in at No. 29, according to the WalletHub study.

South Carolina and West Virginia came in at No. 46 and No. 47, respectively.

First through fifth, in order, were: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland.


“Attempting to explain the variation in school quality based on spending is simplistic and generally not supported by research.”

Tom Ramming, Ed.D., clinical associate professor University at Buffalo

There wasn’t a direct relation between spending and school quality. North Carolina ranked 41st in spending, according to WalletHub. New York ranked first in spending, but 17th overall in terms of best school systems. Texas ranked 42nd in spending, 27th in overall quality.

School safety 

Safety was a major consideration in the study. Among the aspects measured:

—Share of Threatened/Injured High School Students

—Share of High School Students Not Attending School Due to Safety Concerns:

—Share of High School Students with Access to Illegal Drugs

—Share of Armed High School Students

—Number of School Shootings 2000 to March, 2022

Elizabeth Gil

“In my own research with students and their parents and others’ research, families indicate the importance of schools being safe, caring, and welcoming environments,” said Elizabeth Gil Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University.

North Carolina came in at No. 32 in school safety. South Carolina was 42nd and West Virginia, 47th.

Massachusetts, Delaware and Maine ranked first, second and third according to the study.