JLF Memo
Jul. 11th, 2014: - johnlocke.org Manage Subscriptions

The most and least productive school districts in NC
By Dr. Terry Stoops

View in your browser.

Welcome

This week, the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank located in D.C., released a new report on educational productivity.  This study attempts to gauge the effectiveness of school district spending, that is, "bang for the buck."

Educational productivity rankings for all 115 North Carolina school districts are included in the Facts and Stats section below.

Bulletin Board

  • Learn. The John Locke Foundation and Carolina Journal provide unsurpassed research, analysis, reporting, and opinion on North Carolina's most important and talked about issues.  Sign up for a Key Account to receive daily updates from our staff.

  • Attend. A list of upcoming events sponsored by the John Locke Foundation can be found at the bottom of this newsletter, as well as here.  We look forward to seeing you!

  • Share. The North Carolina History Project seeks contributors to the North Carolina History Project Encyclopedia. Please contact Dr. Troy Kickler for additional information.

  • Discuss. I would like to invite all readers to submit brief announcements, personal insights, anecdotes, concerns, and observations about the state of education in North Carolina.  I may publish selected submissions in future editions of the newsletter. Requests for anonymity will be honored. For additional information or to send a submission, email Terry at tstoops@johnlocke.org.

  • Revisit. We have archived all research newsletters on our website.  Access the archive here.

  • Donate. If you find this newsletter mildly informative or entertaining, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the John Locke Foundation.  The John Locke Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that does not accept nor seek government funding. It relies solely on generous support from individuals, corporations, small businesses, and foundations.

CommenTerry

Center for American Progress (CAP) researchers published their first report on educational productivity three years ago.  I discussed the 2011 CAP study and the concept of educational productivity several times, most recently here and here

Educational productivity measures the relative return on investment (ROI) for schools and school districts.  As Boser explains, it represents "how much academic achievement a district gets for each dollar spent relative to other districts in their state."  To ensure an apples-to-apples comparison among districts, he adjusted the data to account for differences in cost-of-living, household income, English language proficiency, and special education services.  Boser also calculated more sophisticated ROI measures, but those are not included in the chart below.

In addition to ROI, I included the primary input (spending) and output (student achievement) variables for each district. The "Achievement Index" represents the percentage of students who scored proficient or above on reading and math tests given to students in fourth-grade, eighth-grade, and high school during the 2010-11 school year.  I also listed the 2010-11 average per pupil expenditures used in the study.

As legislators continue to hash out budget adjustments for the coming year, all stakeholders should be reminded that it is not how much we spend on public education.  Rather, it is how we spend it that matters most.

Facts and Stats

Note: The lower the ROI score, the higher the productivity.  For example, districts that scored a "1" had the highest achievement and lowest spending.  Districts that earned a "6" had the lowest achievement and highest spending.

District

Basic Return on Investment

Achievement Index

Per Pupil Expenditure

Union County Public Schools

1

86

$7,511

Davie County Schools

1

85

$7,758

Mooresville City Schools

1

84

$7,725

Surry County Schools

1

84

$8,177

Burke County Schools

1

83

$7,669

Davidson County Schools

1

82

$6,975

Johnston County Schools

1

82

$8,237

Lincoln County Schools

1

82

$7,907

Pender County Schools

1

81

$8,018

Stokes County Schools

1

81

$8,551

Wake County Schools

1

81

$7,714

Alexander County Schools

1

80

$7,893

Iredell-Statesville Schools

1

79

$7,509

Currituck County Schools

2

86

$9,051

Elkin City Schools

2

86

$8,557

Haywood County Schools

2

83

$8,502

Henderson County Schools

2

83

$8,199

Caldwell County Schools

2

82

$7,917

Mount Airy City Schools

2

82

$9,327

New Hanover County Schools

2

81

$8,759

Catawba County Schools

2

80

$7,868

Cleveland County Schools

2

80

$8,705

Orange County Schools

2

80

$9,781

Wilson County Schools

2

80

$8,023

Cabarrus County Schools

2

79

$7,463

Craven County Schools

2

79

$7,719

Moore County Schools

2

79

$8,036

Wilkes County Schools

2

79

$7,955

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

2

77

$8,050

Person County Schools

2

77

$8,613

Chatham County Schools

2

76

$9,284

Franklin County Schools

2

76

$7,880

Yadkin County Schools

2

76

$8,057

Forsyth County Schools

2

75

$8,604

Gaston County Schools

2

75

$7,592

Guilford County Schools

2

75

$8,684

Alamance-Burlington Schools

2

74

$7,750

Randolph County Schools

2

74

$7,714

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools

3

90

$10,696

Polk County Schools

3

89

$10,070

Camden County Schools

3

88

$8,286

Watauga County Schools

3

86

$9,111

Yancey County Schools

3

86

$9,655

Carteret County Public Schools

3

85

$8,632

Dare County Schools

3

85

$10,806

Transylvania County Schools

3

84

$9,484

Alleghany County Schools

3

82

$10,697

Mitchell County Schools

3

82

$10,701

Ashe County Schools

3

81

$9,202

Cherokee County Schools

3

81

$9,215

Clay County Schools

3

80

$9,110

Brunswick County Schools

3

79

$8,807

Buncombe County Schools

3

79

$8,330

Madison County Schools

3

78

$9,327

McDowell County Schools

3

78

$8,158

Newton Conover City Schools

3

78

$8,199

Onslow County Schools

3

77

$7,778

Stanly County Schools

3

77

$8,289

Whiteville City Schools

3

77

$8,921

Clinton City Schools

3

76

$8,400

Lee County Schools

3

76

$8,427

Rutherford County Schools

3

76

$9,073

Hickory City Schools

3

75

$8,212

Sampson County Schools

3

75

$8,278

Roanoke Rapids City Schools

3

74

$8,477

Cumberland County Schools

4

74

$8,168

Kannapolis City Schools

4

73

$8,971

Hoke County Schools

4

72

$8,129

Rockingham County Schools

4

72

$8,248

Wayne County Public Schools

4

71

$7,751

Asheboro City Schools

4

70

$8,974

Lenoir County Public Schools

4

69

$8,173

Pitt County Schools

4

69

$8,251

Rowan-Salisbury Schools

4

69

$8,351

Harnett County Schools

4

67

$7,182

Richmond County Schools

4

67

$8,418

Durham Public Schools

4

64

$9,300

Robeson County Schools

4

64

$8,861

Edgecombe County Schools

4

59

$8,129

Avery County Schools

5

78

$10,280

Graham County Schools

5

78

$10,017

Asheville City Schools

5

77

$12,131

Jackson County Schools

5

77

$9,069

Macon County Schools

5

77

$9,364

Jones County Schools

5

76

$11,578

Gates County Schools

5

75

$10,208

Martin County Schools

5

75

$9,624

Swain County Schools

5

75

$8,951

Perquimans County Schools

5

74

$9,763

Scotland County Schools

5

74

$10,413

Beaufort County Schools

5

72

$9,016

Columbus County Schools

5

72

$8,671

Duplin County Schools

5

70

$8,529

Montgomery County Schools

5

70

$8,779

Nash-Rocky Mount Schools

5

70

$8,539

Granville County Schools

5

69

$8,109

Lexington City Schools

5

67

$10,154

Vance County Schools

5

65

$9,059

Greene County Schools

5

60

$9,744

Thomasville City Schools

5

58

$9,795

Pamlico County Schools

6

73

$10,460

Tyrrell County Schools

6

72

$15,160

Caswell County Schools

6

71

$9,279

Edenton/Chowan Schools

6

71

$10,708

Hyde County Schools

6

70

$18,435

Pasquotank County Schools

6

69

$8,861

Bladen County Schools

6

65

$9,288

Bertie County Schools

6

64

$9,904

Warren County Schools

6

64

$10,427

Northampton County Schools

6

62

$10,728

Hertford County Schools

6

61

$9,891

Weldon City Schools

6

60

$12,185

Anson County Schools

6

59

$9,796

Washington County Schools

6

55

$10,971

Halifax County Schools

6

41

$9,968


Source: Center for American Progress, "Return on Educational Investment: 2014; A District-by-District Evaluation of U.S. Educational Productivity," July 2014

Acronym of the Week

ROI -- Return on Investment

Quote of the Week

"But as a nation, the United States cannot pretend that education dollars are endless, and we must address the issue of spending effectiveness."

- Ulrich Boser, "Return on Educational Investment: 2014; A District-by-District Evaluation of U.S. Educational Productivity," Center for American Progress, July 9, 2014.

Click here for the Education Update archive.

You can unsubscribe to this and all future e-mails from the John Locke Foundation by clicking the "Manage Subscriptions" button at the top of this newsletter.

 

Upcoming Events

Monday, Jul. 14th, 2014 at *
No Shaftesbury Meeting
* *
There will not be a shaftesbury luncheon.

Monday, Jul. 28th, 2014 at 12:00 p.m.
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest Jim Geraghty
The Weed Agency - The Funny and All Too Real Struggle Against Big Government

©2014 John Locke Foundation | 200 West Morgan St., Raleigh, NC 27601, (919) 828-3876