Key facts:

  • In 2008, North Carolina’s elementary schools’ per-student expenditure ranked sixth-highest in the world and secondary schools’ expenditure was fifth-highest.
  • A majority of the world’s highest-performing nations offered performance pay or diverted a substantial percentage of school expenditures to private schools or did both.
  • Nations with the highest per-pupil expenditures did no better on measures of student performance than countries that spent less.
  • Comparisons of student performance show that public school students in North Carolina are struggling to match the performance of our economic competitors throughout the world.
  • Researchers found that consistently improving school districts had world-class standards, curricula, and assessments; a focus on raising the quality of school personnel; a data system that guides decision-making and instruction; and transparency and clarity in their reform efforts.


Spotlight 419 North Carolina vs. the World: Comparisons of educational inputs and outcomes