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N.C. Students Gain Ground in Reaching Education Goals

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CLAYTON — North Carolina students made Gov. Hunt proud in Washington on Wednesday.Hunt heads a national program called "The Education Goals Panel", and astudy shows public school students in the state gained more ground in reaching several important education goals than students in any otherstate.
They made significant progress in 14 of the 33 indicators. Some of thoseimprovements include:
  • Higher math scores in both the third and fourth grade
  • More math and science degrees issued to all students
  • Higher scores on the Advanced Placement achievement test
  • More students are getting their high school diploma.
  • The panel looked at seven math and science areas. North Carolina schoolsmade gains in all of them. WRAL'sBetsy Sykes foundout what one school is doing to successfully push its students forward.

    Cooper Elementary in Clayton is a school of distinction. It's studentshave done well on state math and reading exams. Teachers we talked withtoday say they aren't surprised North Carolina's students are doing betterwhen it comes to math and science.

    In Betsy McKenzie's class, they're taking a new approach to learning math.McKenzie teaches her students with shapes to reinforce the numbers. Mathfacts and memorization are taught all year long.

    Ninety-five percent of Cooper's third graders tested for math proficiencyat the beginning of this school year got the equivalent of an "A" or "B".

    Cooper Elementary isn't the only school seeing success. Overall, NorthCarolina's schools are doing better when it comes to teaching math andscience.

    Mary Kornegay said she's had more success teaching science ever since shebegan putting students in cooperative learning groups. Students here learnto appreciate and recognize different learning styles.

    Superintendent Mike Ward says the fact the state has come up with a standardcourse of study that meets national goals has also helped students. It'simportant to remember, North Carolina started out low with room for improvement. So while the gains are good, even Ward says it's not goodenough and he wants North Carolina to keep making progress.

    Reporter: Betsy Sykes

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