Local News

Confusion Over Test Scores, Teacher Bonuses Leaves Many In Limbo

Posted November 10, 2004

— Confusion over test scores and teacher bonuses have teachers and principals in a tailspin.

News reports last week indicated the State Board of Education would not back away from questionable test scores, leaving thousands of teachers without bonuses.

"I think every educator takes it personally," said Tom Benton, principal of Durant Road Middle School. "It was very hurtful, I guess. I was incensed that they supposedly reached a decision in less than 10 minutes."

Interim state Superintendent Tricia Willoughby said those reports were not accurate. She said the issue is still on the table.

"The board did not take action on those options. They had a little bit of discussion in October, but they did not take action," she said.

The results in question show sixth-grade reading scores did not measure up.

"We saw that every single group of students had not met expected growth," Benton said.

Principals said the numbers do not add up. State advisors even raised concerns and Wake County filed a complaint.

"We found out that only two schools in the entire state made it," Benton said.

An advisory panel to the state Board of Education has recommended dropping the sixth-grade reading scores and re-calculating school progress. The state board has not yet made a decision. Either way, schools are struggling to figure out how to make improvements based on last year's test results.

The state Board of Education may make a decision at its December meeting.

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