Local News

Wake Schools Show No Improvement in Year-End Tests

Posted June 28, 2007 4:12 p.m. EDT

— Wake County high schools showed no increase in the percentage of students scoring at grade level on end-of-course tests, school district officials said Thursday.

The system average on the seven state end-of-course tests dropped from 79.5 percent in 2005-06 to 74 percent this year. The tests are administered in two algebra courses, geometry, biology, English I, civics and economics and U.S. history.

In the three courses where the tests were unchanged from last year, the percentage of students reaching grade level increased. But in the four courses where the state issued new tests this year, the percentage of students reaching proficiency decreased.

“We have seen this happen several times now,” Assistant Superintendent for Evaluation and Research David Holdzkom said in a statement. “When the state has strengthened curriculum and raised the proficiency threshold on the test, the percentage of our students reaching proficiency drops in the first year and then begins to climb. We expect that will be true here.”

On the biology test, 74.2 percent of Wake County students performed at or above grade level this year, compared with 73.7 percent last year. On the civics and economics test, 75.5 percent performed at or above grade level, up from 72.9 percent last year. On the U.S. history test, 74.2 percent performed at or above grade level, compared with 69.5 percent a year ago.

On the Algebra I test, 66.2 percent of students performed at or above grade level for 2006-07, down from 87.3 percent last year. On the geometry test, 72.4 percent performed at or above grade level, compared with 79.4 percent in 2005-06. On the Algebra II test, 73.8 percent performed at or above grade level, down from 87.7 percent a year ago. On the English I test, 79.6 percent performed at or above grade level this year, compared with 87.5 percent in 2005-06.

The state is developing new end-of-course tests for chemistry, physics and physical science. The new tests will be administered and reported next year.