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Franklin Schools See an Ongoing Problem With Math Scores

Posted June 12, 2007

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— Following dismal results on last year's state end-of-grade math tests, parents across North Carolina are anxious about their children's scores this time around. Official state numbers are not out yet, but Franklin County school officials say their results are a little better, but still low.

For the second straight year, the math results are troubling. At most schools, a quarter to half of the students failed, school officials disclosed.

“It's not because our students know less math. It's because the standard has been set by the state at a different level,” said Youngsville Elementary Principal Rick Smith.

That doesn’t remove the worry, however. By any standard, Smith said, low test scores are a cause for concern, and they're something the school must address.

“One of the things we need to do is look at the way we teach math,” Smith said.

Franklin is not alone in its problem with math scores. Statewide, a third of middle-school students failed the math exams last year.

Results for the 2005-06 school year showed that across North Carolina, sixth-graders achieved a 62.5 percent proficiency rate, seventh-graders got to 62.4 percent and 61.3 percent of eighth-graders achieved proficient scores.

Over the summer, the state Department of Public Instruction will tabulate the results of EOGs given this spring.

EOGs in reading and math are given every year from third grade through eighth. A comprehensive math test is given in 10th grade. Science EOGs are given in fifth and eighth grades, and writing proficiency tests are given in fourth, seventh and 10th grades.

“I think when you talk to superintendents everywhere, they'll tell you their scores are lower now than they were two years ago,” Smith said.

“You got teenagers being left behind as far as sixth grade. If you don't pass EOG, they get older in age. They're still there. That's one concern about my daughter,” said Tina Scarboro, a parent at the Bunn Middle School.

A spokesperson for the Department of Public Instruction said the math curriculum is more rigorous now, and the exams reflect that.

For the reading EOG, more than four out of five Franklin County students passed. The state plans to toughen the reading standards and tests next year, however.

12 Comments

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  • hope4all Jun 14, 2007

    I think Killian and others missed the point. No one is unhappy about a more rigorous course of study. Educators just want people to know that you can't compare the current math numbers with those from 2004-05. Wake County's passing rate went down almost 18 percent between '05 and '06. Every system I checked did the about the same, some more, some less. Raising the standard is a great thing, and a testament to our teachers. The state set a standard several years ago, and teachers and students everywhere rose to the challenge. The result...a higher standard needed to be set. We will all rise to this challenge as well, and when we do the bar will be raised again, and that's a good thing for everyone. It's scheduled to happen next year in reading. Just remember when passing rates go down, it's not because kids know less, just that we will expect more from them. Food for thought....what if we moved the end zone back thirty yards each time the offense got in the red zone?

  • speak the truth Jun 14, 2007

    Hey--guess what the solution is? Teach the NC Standard Course of Study. Make your lessons rigorous and relevant. There problem solved!!!

  • letskeeppeace Jun 14, 2007

    This is all bull! From what I understand the Franklin County school children spent the last 6 weeks or more just studying for the EOG's. Obviously it was a waste of time because the scores were still low. I still do not understand how in the world the kids at Terrell Lane Middle School can learn anything at any time of the year. The teachers are spending their teaching time correcting children all the while being treated like scum. There are fights daily, so how in the world can the most focused child learn anything?? What will it take to get some order at these schools?

  • mathforall Jun 13, 2007

    The root of most of this discourse is discipline. As a teacher, it is difficult to discipline 20-25 students who receive no discipline at home. I can't say that I agree with refusing to answer student questions but it might frustrating when students ask you questions about the exact topic just covered but they missed the explanation because they were involved in a conversation with their friends, or were text messaging a friend, or playing a game on the PSP, or just taking a nap during the lesson. Another thing you need to remember, you need to take the things you hear happened at school with a grain of salt. If we believed everything the kids come to school and say happen at home then there would be more DSS reports than could ever be handled. Students, like all humans are self preservers. I could slant the truth too when it would keep me out of a little bit of trouble. Establish a relationship with the teacher early on before issues have a chance to surface.

  • supermom2 Jun 13, 2007

    You know, you would think that with the teachers getting a bonus if your students pass the EOG, and your school getting high marks for this achievement, you would think the teachers would do better teaching in class, and try to hlep these kids to understand, I guess it is too much work for them, it is too much to ask for them to be conpasionate and understanding. I noticed this year in 4th and 5th grade that the teachers appear to be much more cruel, and of no help at all. Had it not been for me helping my child, she would have completely failed her Math EOG. It is apparent that the schools need a new cirruclium, and teachers need to teach. If you do not like children or they get on your nerves, find another Job. We as parents must continue to do our part in helping our children learn. They will be much more successful if we do.

  • Tang Jun 13, 2007

    Wow, 15 yr olds in the same class with 11 yr olds. I blame the parents for that. They need to be more involved in their kids education.

  • Killian Jun 13, 2007

    “It's not because our students know less math. It's because the standard has been set by the state at a different level,” said Youngsville Elementary Principal Rick Smith.

    What a crock. I work on the team that designs the state tests. Other counties somehow manage to have better results than this one, but even then, for the ones that do fail, you don't hear the state's levelling scores being blamed.

    Stand up, take responsibility as parents, as students, as teacher, and as administrators, and make education a priority again. Otherwise, the failure you see now will be a fraction of what's to come.

  • supermom2 Jun 13, 2007

    The teacher is not all to blame here, however there is some blame to be had. We had trouble this year, because the teacher refused to expand on the lesson being taught, she introduced the lesson and that was it, the children then spent the rest of the class doing homework. I spent the last 2 quarters of school teaching my child short cuts, and what words to look in word problems that would tell her whether or not it was division, or multiplication. Parents have to be active in their childs education...you cannot just leave it to the children. Just because they are in school, does not mean they do not need you to help them.

  • Sleepsalot Jun 13, 2007

    First it is not a black or white issue. My children went to Youngsvile school. When one was having trouble keeping up and ask the teacher for extra help she told him no because she was the coach for one of the sports teams. Franklin County school board backed up the teacher. So no one can tell me that the schools are good in Franklin County.

  • dianadarling Jun 13, 2007

    It is a big problem when you have 15 year olds in 6th grade because they haven't passed the eog's sitting next to 11 year olds. There were 2 15 year old boys in my 11 year old daughter's 6th grade class. what a way for an 11 year old to get an education.

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