North Carolina Public School Performance Grades Released

North Carolina's first Public School Performance Grades were released Thursday, February 5, by the North Carolina State Board of Education.

Governor McCrory said, "Today, our state took a positive first step to provide North Carolina's parents, communities and policymakers with a clear measure of what matters most: our students' academic achievement,"

Schools are graded from A-F under the new system beginning 2013-2014. 80% of the grade is based on how well students did on the new state tests, and the other 20% is based on academic growth at each school.

The grades this year are based on a 15-point scale; for example scores between 100 and 85 would be an "A," between 70 and 84 would be a "B," and so on. According to Union County Public Schools the current law states that the 2014-2015 grades will reflect a 10-point scale.

According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools they had a high percentage of their schools earning a B or higher. 41.4% of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools were graded A or B, compared to 29.4% for the state overall. The district had 70.1% of its schools receive a grade of C or higher, compared to 70.8% for the state. The High schools were graded using additional indicators of college and career readiness; 24 of 25 CMS high schools earned a C or better for a total of 96%, compared to 88.8% statewide. 64% of CMS high schools were graded A or B, compared to 47.7% for the state.

Overall performance grades for CMS, 17 schools, or 10.8%, received an A grade, 48 schools, or 30.6%, received a B; 45 schools, or 28.7%, received a C; 36 schools, or 22.9%, received a D, and 11 schools or 7%, received an F.

CMS Superintendent Ann Clark said, "Our Strategic Plan 2018: For a Better Tomorrow identifies the key areas of focus for our district," she said. "We remain committed to academic achievement as our top goal, and the other five goals support that goal as our core business."

Speaker Tim Moore released a statement saying, "It is extremely important that the public is aware of school performance in our state, and the A-F scale is a recognizable way of measuring and delivering that information. That being said, the House will continue to work with the Senate, State Board of Education, Department of Public Instruction, and local school systems to refine this performance model to ensure it measures exactly what is going on in our children's classrooms."

In the Cabarrus County School district 2 schools received an A, 11 received Bs, 16 received Cs and, 7 received Ds.

Cabarrus County School Superintendent, Barry Shepherd said, "However, using student performance as the basis for school performance grades does not account for several other factors proven to affect the achievement gap, among them student mobility, hunger and nutrition, reading habits and birth weight, and for that reason, we believe the SPG formula is not an accurate measure."

According to the Lincoln County School district, 9 schools received a School Performance Grade of B, 10 received a grade of C, and 2 received a grade of D.

Lincoln County School Superintendent, Dr. Sherry Hoyle said, "The School Performance Grade is one indicator of success and it provides another tool in discussing how schools can improve. We will assist each school in meeting the needs of their students and improving their overall performance."

According to the Union co. School district based on state measures, out of the 52 schools that were scored in Union County Public Schools, 44 earned a grade of C or better. 65.4% of the schools earned an A or B. There were no F letter grades in UCPS. Two schools, Wolfe and South Providence, were not scored because they do not fit the NC Performance Grades model.

"We are not resting on these school performance grades," said Union Co. School Superintendent, Dr. Ellis. "We have to improve academic achievement and growth in all schools. We will continue to support all of our schools and work hard for all children."

In the Rowan-Salisbury School district grades ranged between Bs and Fs.

"We are looking forward, as we began this school year implementing a new way of teaching and learning as defined in our new strategic plan. These scores reflect where we were last year and not where we are today or where we plan to be tomorrow," said Rowan-Salisbury School Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody.

Statewide, 5.4% of schools received an A, 24% received a B, 41.4% received a C, 23.1% received a D, and 6% received an F.

The School Performance Grades is one way for parents to compare how their students are doing compared to other districts.