A snapshot showing how North Carolina’s public schools are doing reveals steady improvement but stubborn shortcomings.

The annual school accountability report released Thursday shows high-school graduation rates and the number of high-performing schools inched up during the last school year. Schools increasingly earned As or Bs under the state’s A-to-F grading system.

But fewer than half of North Carolina elementary and middle school students were ready to tackle both reading and math in the next grade. The report also amplifies the clear connection between student poverty and the likelihood a school will be considered failing.

North Carolina Teacher of the Year Lisa Godwin says state legislators aren’t providing the money required to ensure all students succeed.

State schools Superintendent Mark Johnson says spending needs to be smarter.