School standards and testing

With the implementation of the ABCs of Public Education, the Excellent Schools Act, charter school legislation, and other reforms, North Carolina lawmakers have put education atop the priority list. But even after some recent progress, repeated problems with the state testing program and disappointing performance from high school students suggest more fundamental changes are needed.

Key Facts


  1. Replace the state's end-of-year and end-of-course tests with an independent, field-tested, and credible national test of student performance. Many norm-referenced tests are available for students in grades K- 12, including the Basic Achievement Skills Individual Screener (BASIS), Metropolitan Achievement Tests (MAT 8), and the Stanford Achievement Test Series, 10th Edition (Stanford 10).
  2. Set reading and math performance goals based on reputable national tests such as the NAEP. The state should set a goal of at least half of students showing proficiency and 90 percent testing at the "basic" level as defined by the NAEP.
  3. Reward teachers based on the value they add to the performance of their students. DPI should continue to measure and report growth in school and district test scores, but also place greater emphasis on measuring and reporting the performance of individual teachers.

Analyst: Terry Stoops
Director of Education Studies
919-828-3876 •