Local News

Franklin Schools See an Ongoing Problem With Math Scores

Posted June 12, 2007 6:34 p.m. EDT
Updated June 12, 2007 8:23 p.m. EDT

— 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.