08/06/10 — Schools gets grades from state

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Schools gets grades from state

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 6, 2010 1:46 PM

One-third of the county's schools made high growth under the state's ABCs accountability model, while 22 of the 30 schools, or 73 percent, made at least expected growth, according to the state's final 2009-10 results, released Thursday by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

The state Board of Education also approved AYP results, with 20 area schools, or 64.5 percent, making Adequate Yearly Progress. Of the district's 473 target AYP goals, 452 were met, or 95.6 percent.

The cohort graduation rate for Wayne County also rose to 78.3 percent for 2009-10, up from 72 percent the previous year.

Under the state's ABCs model, academic growth is calculated by comparing students' academic performance from year to year, and to typical growth in prior years across the state.

High growth is defined as a school that makes expected growth and has a high growth ratio of 1.5 or higher, while expected growth is when a school's total growth equals or exceeds ABCs growth standard or expectation.

In Wayne County, high growth schools included Carver Heights Elementary, Eastern Wayne High, Grantham School, Greenwood Middle, Meadow Lane Elementary, Norwayne Middle, Rosewood Elementary, Spring Creek Elementary, Spring Creek High and Wayne Middle/High Academy.

Categorized as expected growth were Dillard Middle, Eastern Wayne Elementary, Eastern Wayne Middle, Mount Olive Middle, North Drive Elementary, Northwest Elementary, Rosewood High, Rosewood Middle, School Street Elementary, Southern Wayne High, Tommy's Road Elementary and Wayne Early/Middle College High.

Edgewood Community Developmental School is not included in growth results.

With the state's final AYP results also comes the status ranking of each school.

Wayne Early/Middle was named an honor school of excellence for the second year in a row, while Eastern Wayne High, Rosewood High, Rosewood Middle and Spring Creek High were named schools of distinction.

Further, 13 schools were named schools of progress, six were named priority schools and five identified as no recognition. None were categorized as low performing, or having less than a 50 percent performing composite.

Schools are ranked based on scores being at or above grade level.

The honor school of excellence distinction means the school had a 90-100 percent performance composite, made expected growth and AYP. Schools of distinction had an 80-90 percent performance composite and made expected growth.

Schools of progress received a composite score of 60-70 percent and made expected growth. No recognition meant the school had a 60-100 percent performance composite but did not make expected growth. To be categorized a priority school meant the school had a 50-59 percent composite.

Area schools of progress were Carver Heights Elementary, Eastern Wayne Elementary, Eastern Wayne Middle, Grantham, Greenwood Middle, Meadow Lane Elementary, Mount Olive Middle, Northwest Elementary, Norwayne Middle, Rosewood Elementary, Southern Wayne High, Spring Creek Elementary and Tommy's Road Elementary.

No recognition schools included Carver Elementary, Charles B. Aycock High, Goldsboro High, Northeast Elementary and Wayne School of Engineering.

Priority schools were Brogden Middle, Brogden Primary, Dillard Middle, Fremont STARS Elementary, North Drive Elementary and School Street Elementary.

"The ABCs accountability program is designed to answer the question, 'Are students learning at least at the same rate as other students across the state?'" explained Dr. Craig McFadden, assistant superintendent for accountability and student services. "In recent years, the state Board of Education has implemented more rigorous reading and math standards and our district's accountability results continue to compare favorably to those achieved by other districts across the state."

To meet the growing needs of students, and to comply with the ongoing changes being made to the testing models, the district has implemented a number of strategies and initiatives, officials said. Among these have been tutoring and mentoring programs, an increased focus on literacy and math, including interactive technology in both areas, recruiting highly qualified teachers and creating personalized education plans for students as needed.

Dr. Steven Taylor, superintendent of schools, said administrators and teachers will continue to work with the Board of Education to improve student achievement.

"This year's ABCs report highlights some positive gains for the district, but it also reflects that there are still areas that require continued efforts," he said. "To make gains across all curriculum areas, we recognize that our staff will need to continue assessing the effectiveness of programs and work to provide focused and personalized instruction to best meet the needs of students."