08/03/12 — Local ABC results are in

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Local ABC results are in

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 3, 2012 1:46 PM

Performance scores increased at more than half of the 31 public schools in Wayne County, and the four-year cohort graduation rates also rose, from 74.6 percent to 80.1 percent.

According to the state's final 2011-12 ABCs/AMO results, released Thursday, one-third of Wayne County Public Schools recorded high growth under the state's ABCs accountability model, while 66 percent of the schools made at least expected growth.

The number of schools making expected growth stayed the same, while 10 of the 30 schools, up from six the previous year, hit the high growth level.

The latest results reflect performance composites for 30 public schools. Edgewood Developmental School is not included in growth results.

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 of expectation.

The high growth schools include Charles B. Aycock High, Fremont STARS Elementary, Goldsboro High, Grantham School, Greenwood Middle, Meadow Lane Elementary, Mount Olive Middle, Norwayne Middle, Wayne Academy and Wayne Early/Middle College High School.

Those with expected growth included Eastern Wayne Elementary, Eastern Wayne Middle, North Drive Elementary, Rosewood Elementary, Rosewood High, Rosewood Middle, School Street Elementary, Southern Wayne High, Spring Creek High, Tommy's Road Elementary.

This past year of testing also marked the end of an era.

"Parents and the community need to be aware of the many changes now taking place with the testing and accountability programs for public schools," said Ken Derksen, director of communication services and public information officer for the district. "This past school year was the final year for the state's ABCs accountability program before the state transitions to the READY school accountability model."

The ABCs model has been in place since the mid-1990s. It calculated academic growth by comparing students' academic performance from year to year, and to typical growth in prior years across the state.

The new Annual Measurable Objectives, or AMO, replaced the Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, measures in the Federal Title I accountability program. Under the AMO, proficiency targets are set for each student subgroup. Before, there was only one proficiency target for all student subgroups.

"The ABCs accountability program was always designed to answer the question, 'Are students learning at least at the same rate as other students across the state?' The new READY accountability program will do the same, but be concluded through more rigorous standards and assessments," explained Dr. Craig McFadden, assistant superintendent for accountability and student services.

Wayne Early/Middle was named "Honor School of Excellence" for the fourth year in a row.

Aycock, Norwayne Middle and Rosewood High were named a "School of Distinction."

Fifteen schools were named a "School of Progress," up from 12 the previous year. They were Eastern Wayne Elementary, Eastern Wayne Middle, Fremont STARS, Goldsboro High, Grantham, Greenwood Middle, Meadow Lane, Mount Olive Middle, North Drive, Rosewood Elementary, Rosewood Middle, School Street Elementary, Southern Wayne High, Spring Creek High and Tommy's Road Elementary.

Four schools were named a "Priority School," down from seven last year. They were Brogden Middle, Brogden Primary, Dillard Middle and Wayne Academy.

Carver Heights Elementary was identified as "Low Performing."

"No Recognition" schools included Carver Elementary, Eastern Wayne High, Northeast and Northwest elementary schools, Spring Creek Elementary and Wayne School of Engineering.

A total of 2,482 public schools and public charter schools were assigned a status in the ABCs of Public Education, according to the DPI (Department of Public Instruction) website.

The county's only charter school, Dillard Academy, met both expected and high growth and was categorized as a "Priority School."

According to the ABCs of Public Education report presented Thursday to the State Board of Education, 79.5 percent of public schools in the state met or exceeded their academic growth goals. The report also showed that 46.2 percent of all schools, or 1,165, met all of their AMOs.

The state report also contained statewide graduation rates, with North Carolina attaining its highest numbers in history. In 2012, 80.2 percent of students who started ninth grade in 2008-09 completed high school in four years or less. That figure is up from 77.9 percent the previous year.

Officials explained that some students require a fifth year of high school to complete graduation requirements. The five-year cohort graduation rate for those students also showed increases, from 77.7 percent to 81.1 percent.