Local News

School test results improve statewide

Posted August 7, 2008

— More North Carolina schools met or beat expected academic growth this year, state education officials said Thursday, but they cautioned against comparing the results with previous years because reading scores weren't part of this year's results.

Fifty-five percent of public schools statewide posted high academic growth in 2007-08 as measured by the state's ABCs of Public Education accountability model. Another 27 percent earned expected academic growth under the model.

Academic growth is calculated by comparing students' academic performance from year to year and comparing that growth to what was typical in prior years across the state.

Last year, about 72 percent of schools met or beat expectations.

The growth measurements for elementary and middle schools are usually based on reading and math test scores, but new reading assessments were used this year, so the latest results are based only on math scores, officials said.

For high schools, growth is calculated using end-of-course tests results, dropout rates and participation in college preparatory courses.

Teachers, principals and other school staff receive incentive awards based on their school's growth designation.

The 2008 state budget capped the total incentives at $94.3 million, so bonuses had to be cut by about 30 percent, officials said. Teachers and principals at high-performing schools will receive $1,053 this year, while those at schools meeting expected growth will receive $527.

Eighty-four percent of Wake County schools met or exceeded the ABCs standard, as did 67 percent of Durham County schools. All 17 schools in Chapel Hill-Carrboro met or exceeded the standard.


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  • TheAdmiral Aug 8, 2008

    Just to make a point - historically the school system takes the week of July 4th off. Parents and Scouting Units use this time to allow the kids to go for a solid week of Summer Camp.

    This year, they have to be in school Monday and Tuesday, and have Wednesday through Monday off.

    The school system does not have nor has ever intended to have the best interest of students and parents in mind when it comes to the families wellbeing.

  • gabi Aug 7, 2008

    Thanks wifemomteacher. Appreciate the info -- I'm having to get majorly up to speed this year as I have a munchkin registering for kindergarten in Feb. The amount of information I can't quite get my hands on and number of questions that I can't get straight answers to is mind-boggling. So far, all I can really tell is that the school I'm districted to is going to be required to offer all the parents of students enrolled this year the opportunity to transfer (they're in their second year of "school improvement status" -- which basically means that this brand-new school that opened two years ago has not made their NCLB goals since they opened, from what I can gather). Though whether that means anything for those of us registering for the following year no one seems to know. Bleah. Navigating the politics of the education system and the intricacies of the bureaucracy is hateful.

  • Citizen7265 Aug 7, 2008

    gabi, the scores being released today are from the state End of Grade (EOG) tests given each year. The results from a few weeks back are related to No Child Left Behind and AYP as set by the Federal government. The data comes from the same tests, but is used in different ways. For AYP, every subgroup within a school(form Exceptional Ed to Limited English Proficient) must meet their goal and this can be very difficult. Some schools have 25 plus subgroups while others have less than 18. IT amazes me that the Federal government can use one test from NC to determine if children have met their annual yearly progress and a different test in other states to determine the same thing. The tests are not alike and provide different results. It is just more political interference in education.

  • bs101fly Aug 7, 2008

    a lottery ALWAYS fails when it comes to education. they use EDUCATION as their calling card, but give almost NOTHING to education! 7 million a year to wake county does NOTHING to relieve the school issues. They should have to anne up 80+% of every dollar they take in to "education."
    Then Tom Sheehanmale wouldn't have a job and couldn't continue lying to the public about where ALL the money REALLY goes!

  • gabi Aug 7, 2008

    My big concern with this article is that the prelim numbers came out a couple weeks ago now, I believe, and an article on this same site was talking about how something like only 30% of the elementary schools in the area appeared to have made passing grades? I *think* they're talking about two different sets of numbers (their AYP goals versus their actual math scores numbers/percentage of kids at/near grade level), but can someone verify for me?

  • Citizen7265 Aug 7, 2008

    kenshi, I am well aware of what the lottery was set up to do, and it is not doing it. There is little impact. I KNOW SALARIES ARE NOT PART OF THE LOTTERY NOR ARE BONUSES. Please read posts before chiding people.
    Our preschools are not improving, the money is not there for construction, and class size keeps increasing. The lottery is failing in NC.

  • kenshi Aug 7, 2008

    Wifemomteacher and others... people need to re-read what the lottery was set up to pay for in terms of education. It is NOT supposed to go to salaries. Just in case people need to remember:

    5% goes to the Education Lottery Reserve Fund to be used when lottery proceeds fall short of target. The Reserve not to exceed $50 million.

    50% of the total remainder shall be used for reduction of class size ratios in early grades to 18 children per teacher and for prekindergarten programs for at-risk four year olds who would not otherwise be served in high-quality settings.

    40% of the total remainder shall be used for school construction. Roughly 65% of this total shall be distributed to each county based on total school enrollment. The remaining 35% of this total shall be distributed to each county with average effective county property tax rates above the state average based on total school enrollment.

    and 10% for college scholarships for students who qualify for the federal Pell Grant.

  • bs101fly Aug 7, 2008

    barely, but NONE THE LESS public education in Wake county is crashing ALL around us.

    Because Del and buddy Dulaney have been given a green light by YOU, the people, and are driving the system right into the porta johnny! It's already there!!

    If you support future bonds in Wake County you are simply telling Del and Dulaney you are a believer.

    Are you really??

  • Plenty Coups Aug 7, 2008

    I agree with scorekeep. Drop the bonus and drop the high stakes end of grade test so I can really teach. BTW, the EOG bonuses were put in as part of a "more teacher accountability" push as an added incentive. In reality, it pushes schools to focus on drilling for reading and math EOG tests t the detriment of other subjects. If the state can't afford to pay these bonuses, maybe it should rethink these tests.

  • Citizen7265 Aug 7, 2008

    Scorekeep, actually the bonus has nothing to do with NCLB. It is funded by NC for the NC created EOG testing. Every teacher I know would like to see this testing done away with--the bonuses are not worth the time wasted on these tests. There are no bonuses tied to NCLB--just a lot of red tape and threats!