The Hunt Institute Hosts NC Legislators for Policy Discussion on School Performance Grades

Raleigh, N.C. – The Hunt Institute hosted North Carolina legislators on April 30 at an education policy discussion on school accountability and performance grades.

Dr. Christy Hovanetz, senior policy fellow for accountability at ExcelinEd, led the discussion that focused on the importance of measuring and reporting school performance. She highlighted effective methods and provided key lessons from other states, including Florida and Mississippi.

“We are pleased to see our legislators continue to build their capacity to lead on education,” said Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, president & CEO of The Hunt Institute. “Participation in these critical discussions empowers our state leaders to make more informed decisions on policies that impact our school districts, educators and students. 

A panel discussion further examined this issue and its impact at the local level. Patrick Sims, director of policy and research for The Hunt Institute, moderated the panel that featured education leaders, including Tabari Wallace, principal of West Craven High School (Craven County Schools) and this year’s North Carolina Principal of the Year, Dr. Janet Mason, superintendent of Rutherford County Schools and Freebird McKinney, the 2018 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year.

“This is a complex topic, and I’m pleased to be a part of this event to give legislators a more complete picture of how schools are evaluated and what that means for their stakeholders,” said Dr. Hovanetz. “While accountability alone does not improve student outcomes, the data it produces can spur dialogue and action that can lead to improved student success.”

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) allows states to establish their own accountability systems to measure and report outcomes of school quality and student success. Under current North Carolina state legislation and the North Carolina ESSA plan, schools receive a School Performance Score on a scale of zero to 100 which correlates to an A-F School Performance Grade. School Performance Grades are based on a 10-point scale; however, an annual waiver allows schools to be graded on a 15-point scale. Legislators have introduced a number of bills this session proposing changes to the current school accountability system.