11/07/13 — N.C. school scores released today

View Archive

N.C. school scores released today

By From Staff And Wire Reports
Published in News on November 7, 2013 1:46 PM

North Carolina's public schools are getting a new report card, and state officials are putting out the word that this time the grades test whether children are on track for life.

The new READY assessment of student progress being released for the first time today measures whether children are learning what they need for success in college, careers and a competitive world. The report replaces the ABCs of Public Education, which for 16 years tested the lower goal of whether children were ready to advance to the next grade.

State school officials expect the data to show a much lower percentage of students considered proficient learners. They say students meeting the proficiency standard dropped below 50 percent when New York and Kentucky started testing the measure a couple of years ago.

Dr. Craig McFadden, assistant superintendent for accountability/student services with Wayne County Public Schools, told the school board Monday to brace for "significantly lower" scores on the revamped tests.

He attributes the anticipated drop to the fact that changes have been made to curriculum in every subject area, an unprecedented move in education. Typically, he said, curriculum changes were made on a rotational basis every few years.

McFadden's message was a cautionary one -- designed to prepare the board as well as the public for the drastic change when the performance results are announced.

"Prior to 2012-13 the question that the READY accountability program was attempting to answer was, 'Is this school doing a good job preparing students for success at the next grade level?' Now from 2012-13 forward the question is, 'Is the school doing a good job preparing students for post-secondary employment and post-secondary education,' which is a higher standard," he said.