The above statement comes from a Mathematica Policy Research assessment of Race to the Top (RTT), a federal grant program that awarded more than $4 billion dollars in grants to states.  North Carolina received a $400 million grant during Round 2 of the competition in 2010.

The authors conclude,

…there is no conclusive evidence on whether the RTT program (or the policies and practices promoted by the program) improves student outcomes. In addition, few studies on the implementation of RTT-promoted policies and practices comprehensively examine all the areas described in the RTT application, and few examine whether the policies and practices used by RTT states differ from those used by other states.

Simply put, states may have raised student achievement, but the researchers could not determine if RTT had anything to do with it.

The Obama administration claimed that RTT would improve educational outcomes, yet they made it impossible for evaluators to determine if grant recipients achieved that goal.  That is both infuriating and predictable.