Local News

N.C. Schools Get NCLB Report Cards

Posted July 19, 2004

— Preliminary results for the North Carolina No Child Left Behind legislation were released Monday.

The legislation is an all-or-nothing federal grading standard. Students are divided into subgroups such as race. A certain percentage of students in each subgroup has to be at grade level or the whole school fails.

At Joyner Elementary School, 86 percent of students performed at grade level under state standards, but last year, it still did not live up to the federal guidelines.

"We tailored the efforts we made to each individual student," Joyner Elementary principal Steve Mares said.

Wake County Superintendent Bill McNeal said that attitude was part of the success story for other schools.

"I think they did their homework. They looked at their data to figure out where they came up short and worked on that," he said.

Another factor that boosted scores was the way the schools themselves are graded. They now have something called a "confidence interval," which is similar to margin of error for a poll, so schools that are close to the standard can still be considered successful.

McNeal said that new grading system does not distort the numbers, but it brings them into focus.

"I think it is helpful simply because it does recognize growth," he said.

Here is a look at how other schools made out under the No Child Left Behind standard:

  • 91 out of 126 schools in Wake County met the mark.
  • 22 out of 42 schools in Durham County are in line.
  • 11 out of 11 schools in Orange County met the standard.
  • 11 out of 15 schools in Chatham County are in line.
  • 11 out of 14 schools in Franklin County met the standard.
  • Next month, the state should have summary information available that will show how the state is doing overall.

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