Explanation of Types of Public Schools in North Carolina

Note: All of the school types below are public schools, in that they are funded primarily through public tax dollars.

  • Regular School: a public school that students are assigned to attend because they live in the school's attendance area or attendance zone. Such schools are sometimes called “zoned schools,” “neighborhood schools” or “ZIP code schools,” and are normally only open for enrollment to students from a predetermined set of neighborhoods or ZIP codes. Regular schools are by far the most common type of school in the Charlotte area.
  • Charter School: a tuition-free, public school created on the basis of a license or “charter” made with the State Board of Education. Charter schools typically have greater freedom than traditional public schools in personnel policies, curriculum and teaching philosophy. In return, they must make a commitment to meet state standards of accountability. Charter schools are also normally open to students from counties and towns outside of where they are located. Enrollment decisions at charter schools are often lottery-based, with special consideration given to siblings of currently enrolled students.

Student Growth Index Explained

The Student Growth Index of a school is meant to measure how well the school has been growing student learning over time (i.e., years). North Carolina's public schools receive web-based reporting through the Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS). EVAAS is meant to offer an objective way to measure student progress and the value schools add to students' educational attainment. EVAAS is a statistical analysis of North Carolina state assessment data, and the system provides NC schools with growth data to consider, in addition to achievement data.

If a school has a Student Growth Index of between -2.0 and 2.0, the school is deemed to have "met growth", (i.e., met its average projected growth target). A school with a Student Growth Index of less than -2.0 is considered to have "not met growth". Finally, a school with an index of greater than 2.0 is deemed to have "exceeded growth".

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Best Elementary Schools in NC
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Best Middle Schools in NC
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Best High Schools in NC
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Best Elementary Schools in SC
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Best Middle Schools in SC
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Best High Schools in SC
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About Our Rankings

CarolinaSchoolHub's independent rankings were developed to provide information on public schools in North and South Carolina. Our mission is to help parents in making informed decisions concerning their children's education.

CarolinaSchoolHub offers test scores and data on a total of 3,526 schools - including 2,451 schools in North Carolina and 1,075 schools in South Carolina. The rankings for each school are based on a combination of data from one or more of the following three categories, where appropriate:

  1. End-of-grade test scores for elementary and middle school years
  2. High school assessment data
  3. Schools’ student growth index (North Carolina only)

The pool of 3,526 schools includes data on 3,336 schools that are managed in most cases at the county or city level. We also offer ratings and other information on 190 independently managed charter schools.