Why the NC Opportunity Scholarship is needed
Statewide, thousands of students are trapped in failing public schools. Such schools are far more common in communities that serve a high number of poor and minority students. On recent school report cards issued by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, only seven high poverty schools in the state earned a grade of A+ and 17 earned an A; 649 high poverty schools (more than one third of the state’s most economically disadvantaged schools) earned a grade of D or F. Almost all of the schools given a grade of F (98.6%) were high-poverty schools.
Not surprisingly, unequal access to high-performing schools has contributed to wide achievement gaps. An achievement gap is the difference in academic performance between two groups of students. Such groups are generally defined by gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Wide achievement gaps exist in North Carolina between white and minority students, and between economically disadvantaged students and their more affluent peers. The latest statewide data available on end-of-grade tests illustrate these gaps, affirming this is indeed a crisis in urgent need of a solution.
Less than 42 percent of economically disadvantaged students score proficient on
state end-of-grade tests.
Source: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
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