08/08/08 — Test results show quality of schools

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Test results show quality of schools

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 8, 2008 1:38 PM

Wayne County public school officials were pleased with the early results of the ABCs accountability test scores released Thursday by the state's Department of Public Instruction.

While the final status ranking from the recent end of grade reading tests will delay final ABCs status for elementary and middle schools until November, preliminary scores showed that 23 of the 33 county schools made "high growth" while another five made at least "expected growth."

Five other schools had no recognition, including Edgewood Community Developmental School, which is not included in the growth model.

Results also showed that Wayne Early/Middle College High School was named a "School of Excellence" for having more than 90 percent proficient test scores and making at least expected growth. Eastern Wayne High School was named a "School of Distinction" for having more than 80 percent proficient test scores and making high growth.

The state's accountability measure has long been touted as an effective method for comparing students' academic performance from year to year.

"The ABCs growth model is the best measure of how well our schools are educating students," said Dr. Craig McFadden, WCPS assistant superintendent of accountability and student services. "(It) answers the question, 'Are students learning at least at the same rate as other students across the state?' The record number of our schools making 'high growth' is indicative of a school district that is exceeding state expectations."

Officials agree that the optimum goal is helping students perform at 100 percent, but said they recognize the challenge that every child learns at different paces. Efforts have been made to provide initiatives and strategies to supplement the classroom experience -- computer labs, tutoring and mentoring programs, literacy coaches and tailoring teaching to the students' needs, to name a few.

"Our teachers and administrators are working hard to improve student achievement and student success in the classroom," said Dr. Steven Taylor, schools superintendent. "Seeing so many schools make 'high growth' shows that our district is continuing to move in the right direction."

Individual schools categorized as making "expected growth" included Belfast Academy, Charles B. Aycock High, Eastern Wayne Ele-mentary, Southern Academy and Wayne Early/Middle College High School.

"High growth" schools included Brogden Middle, Brogden Primary, Carver Elementary, Carver Heights, Dillard Middle, Eastern Wayne High, Eastern Wayne Middle, Fremont Elementary, Goldsboro High, Grantham, Greenwood Middle, Meadow Lane Elementary, Mount Olive Middle, Norwayne Middle, Rosewood Element-ary, Rosewood Middle, School Street Elementary, Spring Creek High, Spring Creek Elementary, Tommy's Road Elementary, North Drive Elementary, Northeast Ele-mentary and Northwest Elementary.

"No ratings" were given to Edgewood, Goldsboro Intermediate, Rosewood High, Southern Wayne High and Wayne School of Engineering.

Teachers, principals and other certified staff and teacher assistants receive incentive awards based on their schools' growth designation.