Why Is NC Public School Forum Tweeting A 4 Year Old, Incorrect Statistic?

The NC Public Schools Forum’s recent email newsletter had a set of education stats in it.

Here’s the opening text and the first statistic:

As children and their families embark on another exciting school year, we are thinking about teachers and the tremendous job they do. The Public School Forum loves NC teachers, and works tirelessly to support them by highlighting the issues that impact their success, and in turn, that of our state’s children. By encouraging informed discussion and policymaking, the Forum draws attention to critical issues teachers deal with every day in their classrooms.


North Carolina has a proud history of outstanding public education, and today, there are troubling trends that threaten to undermine our public schools if we don’t act quickly.  Teachers are very familiar with these facts, are you?
52 percent of NC teachers have a 2nd job, the 3rd highest rate in the country.

NC Public Schools Forum also tweeted this statistic:

Wow, that sounds bad.

Except that statistic is four years old, which they admitted when I questioned them on it:

So how is data from 2011-12 is relevant today exactly?  It’s not.

I rooted around in the schools and staffing survey until I found the table that contained these alleged statistics. What I found is that NC Public School Forum is wrong.

According to the data in Table 6, 24% had a second outside job in 2011-12, not 52%.

Not only that, but the way the survey is worded, it is not clear if that second job is occurring during the school year or not.

Why would the NC Public School forum be pushing a 4 year old and incorrect statistic?  Is this a way of reviving complaining about teacher pay?

For what it’s worth, there were 175,630 full time public school personnel in 2011-12.

NC Public Schools is asserting that over 91,000 (52%) teachers were working a second job in our state. The data says otherwise.

It’s more like just over 42,000 (24%) were and we don’t have any idea if that second job was over the Summer or during the school year or both.  Nor do we know if the data sample was the full number of 175,630 teachers.

The average teacher salary in North Carolina during 2011-12 was $46,791 . The United States average was $55,623, which meant we were were ranked 41st.

We’re not 41st anymore and tweets like the one from NC Public School Forum using 4 year old, incorrect data are unhelpful in the truth of the current situation in 2016.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips: APDillon@Protonmail.com
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