12/24/10 — Wayne Schools come in 4th in AYP results

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Wayne Schools come in 4th in AYP results

By Steve Herring
Published in News on December 24, 2010 1:46 PM

Wayne County public schools still managed to finish fourth among the 20 largest North Carolina school districts in No Child Left Behind performance standards even though the county experienced a dramatic 26-point drop.

Twenty of the county's 31 schools, or 64.5 percent, made adequate yearly progress for 2009-10 compared to 30 out of 33, or 90.9 percent, in 2008-09.

The performance is the percentage of schools that demonstrate adequate yearly progress based on end-of-grade testing for elementary and middle schools and end-of-course testing for high schools.

"Their performances were disappointing, but comparatively speaking we do well," said Ed Wilson of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce's Wayne Education Network. "Looking at these numbers is just absolutely mind boggling to me.

"We dropped 26 percent and we were still fourth this year. We were first last year at 90 so you can just look at those numbers and see the numbers dropping significantly."

Wilson said he was particularly interested in the comparison with Johnston County, 61.9 percent, Wake County, 38.4 percent, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, 58.5 percent.

Davidson County had the highest average of the 20 largest systems at 87.9 percent and Pitt County the lowest at 22.2 percent.

Wayne County is 6.7 percent ahead of the state average of 57.8 percent and ranks fifth among 18 school districts within a two-county radius.

Jones County had the highest average of those nearby counties at 83.3 percent followed by Craven, 70.8, Wilson, 68.0, Sampson, 66.7 and Wayne, 64.5.

Scores for other local counties included Lenoir, 52.9, Duplin, 50.0 and Greene, 20.0.

"They have changed the tests," Wilson said. "They have upgraded the standards, moving the standards up. They will continue to raise the standards and that is the reason (for the drop). They (Wayne County schools) had an exceptional year last year when they hit 90 percent last year considering the number of kids that we have on free or reduced lunches which looks at our poverty level.

"One would not reasonably expect those students to make average annual progress for the most part, but they (schools) are doing a good job working with them. Research would say that is less likely that those kids, because they are in a poverty situation, they are not going to perform as well as a kid that is not in poverty."