08/05/11 — County ABC results are in

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County ABC results are in

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 5, 2011 1:46 PM

Six of the 30 Wayne County public schools, or 20 percent, made high growth under the state's ABCs accountability model, with 66 percent of them making at least expected growth, according to the state's preliminary 2010-11 ABCs/AYP results, released by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction Thursday.

The county's cohort graduation rate was also up slightly, from 73.6 percent last year to 74.6 percent. Statewide, the rate increased from 74.2 to 77.7 percent.

Overall, the district ranked second highest among the 20 largest districts in the state among schools making Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, said Dr. Steven Taylor, schools superintendent.

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 exceed ABCs growth standard of expectation.

The six high growth schools were Grantham, Mount Olive Middle, Norwayne Middle, Rosewood Elementary, School Street Elementary and Spring Creek High

Those with expected growth included Carver Heights Elementary, Charles B. Aycock High, Dillard Middle, Eastern Wayne High, Eastern Wayne Middle, Fremont STARS Elementary, Greenwood Middle, Meadow Lane Elementary, Northeast Elementary, Rosewood High, Rosewood Middle, Spring Creek Elementary and Wayne Early/Middle College High.

Edgewood Community Developmental School is not included in growth results. Results from Wayne Middle/High Academy were also not factored into the latest release.

The state Board of Education also approved preliminary AYP results, which had been released earlier in the month, to determine the status ranking of each school.

Wayne Early/Middle College High School was again named an "Honor School of Excellence" for the third consecutive year.

Charles B. Aycock, Eastern Wayne High and Norwayne Middle were named a "School of Distinction."

Twelve schools were named "School of Progress" Eastern Wayne Middle, Fremont STARS Elementary, Grantham, Greenwood Middle, Meadow Lane Elementary, Mount Olive Middle, Northeast Elementary, Rosewood Elementary, Rosewood High, Rosewood Middle, Spring Creek Elementary and Spring Creek High.

"Priority Schools" included Brogden Primary, Carver Heights, Dillard Middle, Eastern Wayne Elementary, School Street Elementary.

No schools were identified as "Low Performing" and seven received "no recognition," including Carver, Goldsboro High, North Drive Elementary, Northwest Elementary, Southern Wayne High, Tommy's Road Elementary and Wayne School of Engineering.

Thirteen of 27 schools reporting AYP data, or 48 percent, made AYP, officials said, while four schools -- Brogden Primary, Edgewood, Rosewood Elementary and Tommy's Road Elementary -- had unresolved data issues. Of the district's 414 total target AYP goals, 344, or 83.1 percent, were met.

Officials attributed the simultaneous improvements in some areas while a marked decline in others to the revisions in benchmarks by both the state and federal No Child Left Behind models.

"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?'" said Dr. Craig McFadden, assistant superintendent for accountability/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.

"Additionally, an incremental increase in AYP target goals for 2010-2011 resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of schools making AYP statewide."

As always, to help students succeed academically, the district is implementing numerous initiatives and strategies, including mentor programs, computer labs with interactive technology in reading and math, tutoring offered before, during and after school, professional development for educators, recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers and ways to better involve and engage parents. The district also reviews test data to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses of students, creating a Personalized Education Plan for students as needed.

"Every year, our teachers and administrators work very hard to ensure our students have meaningful learning opportunities that are designed to increase student achievement," Taylor said.

The ABCs and AYP results illustrate that there are areas that still need improvement, he continued, but added there is also much for which the district can be proud.