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Cornelius News

Study puts NC at 30th in public education nationwide; Q&A with school expert

Source: WalletHub

July 28. By Dave Yochum. With COVID-19 and education top off mind for parents and community leaders, quality of schools is important. How can parents decide where to enroll their kids? The answer varies according to one’s outlook on public vs, private education, purse strings and each student’s needs.

For the majority of families, public education is the only option. But the quality of public school systems varies widely from state to state. It’s often a question of funding. A new WalletHub study says North Carolina comes in at No. 40 based on spending on public education.

The WalletHub analysis of 33 education metrics across all 50 states puts North Carolina’s public school system at No. 30 nationwide—not near the bottom and not near the top.


Massachusetts schools scored highest in reading and math, while the District of Columbia scored worst in drop-out rate and median SAT scores.

North Carolina tied at 44th with Louisiana, Alabama and Arizona on ACT scores. Only Nevada and South Carolina performed worse than those four at 44.

North Carolina ranked 40th in state spending on education, suggesting teachers deserve an enormous amount of credit for what they do, day in day out.

Q&A with education expert

Belinda Eggen, associate professor of education at Mars Hill University, agrees. She answered several questions relating to the role of the state in public education.

Q:Does variation in per pupil spending explain most of the variation in school quality?

A: For the most part, I believe it does.

Q: What can state and local policymakers do to improve their school systems without raising taxes?

A: Teachers have to be trusted again to do what they are educated to do, without all the micro-management. Also, we now have proof that we don’t need all the expensive testing. The assessment has got to become authentic.

Q: In setting a child up for success, how important is the quality of the school relative to other factors (family, neighborhood, etc.)?

A: It is extremely important. Teachers make the difference, not socioeconomic factors.

Q: In evaluating the best and worst school systems, what are the top 5 indicators?

A: Excellent teachers, trust in those teachers, support of those teachers, class size, per-pupil spending.

Q: As a result of COVID-19, education has changed dramatically. What are the biggest educational challenges that have emerged and how can they be overcome? Will the educational system undertake a decisive long-term shift towards e-learning?

A: My biggest challenge has been the fear of technology and the building of online relationships with students. Trial and error, plus in-service have helped me the most. I have always thought online to be the future of education, and that has proven to be so.