Blog Archive

Understanding the School Performance Grades

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

By Adam Rhew, Director of Public Policy
On Feb. 5, the state released for the first time the N.C. School Performance Grades, which are designed to measure and report the academic achievement in every public school in North Carolina. MeckEd created the infographic below as a resource for understanding the grading system and how the grades are calculated.

NC School Grades

MeckEd’s 2015 Public Policy Agenda

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

By Dr. Bill Anderson, MeckEd Executive Director

As we begin a new year, I am pleased to announce MeckEd’s 2015 Public Policy Agenda—a list of priorities that underscore our mission of ensuring excellent public schools for all children.

This agenda is not set without much deliberation. The process actually began last summer, when MeckEd sought input from members of the community at two MeckEd Community Conversations. Our staff conducted extensive research on dozens of education policy issues at the state and local levels. Finally, the advocacy committee of our Board of Directors debated and analyzed the issues. The committee, and then the full board, voted unanimously to adopt the 2015 Public Policy Agenda. Bill Anderson

It includes three broad categories, as well as specific policy recommendations. You will notice that several of our policy goals remain the same. While MeckEd is grateful for the significant investment in teacher salaries in the Republican-led legislature last year, we know there is still more work to do. Our goal is still to bring North Carolina teacher salaries to the national average by 2019. Similarly, there is a need for more funding for the NC Pre-K program, which serves at-risk four-year-olds with quality education. Thousands of North Carolina children who could benefit from NC Pre-K cannot enroll because there are simply not enough seats.

We hope you will embrace these goals and share them with your elected officials. Make sure they know where you stand. In the coming weeks, MeckEd will roll out a number of resources and events that will help you effectively advocate for our public schools. Stay tuned—it’s going to be an exciting year!

Comparing Teacher Turnover and Neighborhood Income

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Today, MeckEd launched our 2014 Interactive Data Maps in collaboration with UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute. The new maps, which give us in-depth looks at all Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, use a data visualization program called Tableau to make it even easier to understand the story behind the numbers.Adam Rhew

For example, you now can see where a school ranks in comparison to other CMS schools on measures such as graduation rate and READY Proficiency Scores.

In talking with the Urban Institute’s John Chesser, We thought it would be interesting to use the data to take a look at how the income level in particular neighborhoods affects teacher turnover rates and READY Proficiency Scores.

The dashboards below focus on teacher turnover at the school level in CMS. Select the grey boxes near the top of the dashboard to see other views of the data or more information.

The top dashboard shows two maps with school data on top of a view of income for the county by ZIP code. The darker colored areas reflect higher per capita income. The map on the right shows the new READY proficiency scores by school. There is a clear pattern in the way that schools in higher income areas tend to score above the district average. The map on the left shows that those same patterns don’t hold as well for teacher turnover.

Adam Rhew is MeckEd’s Director of Public Policy and Communications