09/09/07 — 2007 N.C. ABC scores categorize 32 schools

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2007 N.C. ABC scores categorize 32 schools

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 9, 2007 2:22 AM

Rankings for the 32 Wayne County Public Schools have been made on the heels of the ABCs/AYP results, announced Thursday by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

As the annual test score composites are tallied, the status of each school is determined.

Northwest Elementary School was again named "School of Distinction," while there were 19 schools ranked "School of Progress," eight "Priority Schools," and three receiving no recognition.

The previous school year, 2005-06, there were 13 "Schools of Progress," nine "Priority Schools," six with no recognition and one categorized as low-performing.

To go back further would not be a fair comparison, said Dr. Craig McFadden, the school district's assistant superintendent for accountability, since the standards were revamped with the 2005-06 school year.

"Last school year was just our second year under the new standards," he said. North Carolina introduced new growth formulas and higher performance guidelines, he explained.

"We moved up and that's an improvement, (but) you can't go earlier than that and make comparisons. As state superintendent (of schools) June Atkinson said, 'This is a whole new ballgame.'"

The bottom line, McFadden added, is that the district "had a very good year last year."

McFadden has long maintained the advantages of the state's test measurement, especially when put up against the stringent federally-mandated No Child Left Behind.

"With No Child Left Behind it's becoming increasingly more difficult to see if the school's doing a good job," he said. "No Child Left Behind doesn't answer that question. The ABCs does."

The school status labels and recognitions are determined by performance and academic growth -- based on percent of students' scores at or above grade level, plus whether the school made adequate yearly progress, or AYP.

The highest accomplishment are "Honor School of Excellence" and "School of Excellence," earned by having a 90-100 percentile and meeting AYP or not meeting AYP, respectively.

The "School of Distinction" is merited for having 80-89 percent of scores at or above grade level.

A 60 to 79 percentile is deemed a "School of Progress." A "Priority School" ranking can be given for having 50 to 59 percent performance level, or to schools making less than expected growth and having scores below 50 percent.

This year's Schools of Progress are Brogden Middle, Brogden Primary, Carver Heights Elementary, Charles B. Aycock High, Eastern Wayne elementary, middle and high schools, Fremont Elementary, Grantham, Greenwood Middle, Meadow Lane Elementary, Mount Olive Middle, Norwayne Middle, Rosewood Elementary, School Street Elementary, Spring Creek elementary and high schools, Tommy's Road Elementary and Northeast Elementary.

Priority schools include Belfast Academy, Dillard Middle, Goldsboro High, Goldsboro Intermediate, Southern Academy, Southern Wayne High, North Drive Elementary and Wayne Early/Middle College High.

Dillard Academy, a charter school, did make AYP and had expected growth. The K-4 school's performance composite was 49.4 percent, deeming it a priority school.

Carver Elementary, Rosewood High and Rosewood Middle were ranked "no recognition" schools. The category means the schools made no significant growth from the previous year, officials said.