Roanoke Valley scores a mixed bag with ABC testing
Daily Herald (Roanoke Rapids, NC)
By Jacqueline Hough
August 6, 2011
Results for Roanoke Valley schools were mixed for the ABC scores released Thursday.
KIPP: Gaston College Preparatory earned the highest honors by being named an Honor School of Excellence with 91.4 percent of students scoring at or above grade level.
There are only 201 schools in the state this year with that designation.
Roanoke Valley Early College in Weldon earned School of Distinction status.
The ABCs focus on the annual growth of students and on each school’s performance composite, which is the percentage of students scoring at or above grade level.
A breakdown of what each School Status Label means is on page 3.
All four schools in the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District met North Carolina’s standards for expected growth and attained Schools of Progress status.
Two schools, Chaloner Middle (78.3 percent) and Roanoke Rapids High (76.1 percent), met high growth.
Belmont Elementary is at 71.9 percent, while Manning Elementary had 75.2 percent.
Three of the Weldon City Schools — Roanoke Valley Early College (80.3 percent), Weldon Elementary (61.8 percent) and Weldon Middle (55.5 percent, priority school) met expected growth.
Weldon Elementary School has been recognized as a School of Progress. Weldon STEM High School’s performance composite increased to 63 percent, which means they earned no recognition.
“We are very pleased with the positive results we experienced in our ABC performance for the 2010-11 school year,” said Dr. Elie Bracy, superintendent for Weldon City Schools. “We are totally committed to the on-going improvement of our students; therefore, we are moving forward with innovative instructional best practices in every classroom to actively engage our students.”
Northampton County Schools had four schools meet expected and high growth. They were Central Elementary (63 percent, progress school), Northampton County Alternative (27.9 percent), Northampton County High School-East (79.8 percent, progress school) and Willis Hare Elementary (64.3 percent, progress school).
Conway Middle (66 percent) met expected growth and earned School of Progress status.
Performance composite scores for other schools were 55.4 percent for Gaston Elementary (priority school) and 68.3 percent for Northampton West STEM High School (no recognition).
Halifax County Schools reported its 2010-2011 student achievement and the graduation rate data.
Superintendent Dr. Elease Frederick said that over the past year the graduation rate has improved, but said she was disappointed academic achievement under ABCs showed no gain for the 2010-2011 school year.
“We are very pleased to see that our graduation rate continues to increase,” said Frederick, pointing out the 71.5 percent four-year cohort graduation rate — which is the percentage of students who graduate within four years of entering high school — is a significant improvement over the past two years.
Frederick expressed disappointment at scores on the End of Grade and End of Course testing results.
Despite high expectations for students entering school last year, Frederick pointed out student achievement in the district was stagnant, actually decreasing slightly.
“We entered last school year expecting significant improvement in student achievement,” Frederick said. “We are all disappointed to see these results.”
Halifax County Schools had two schools make expected growth — Enfield Middle and Pittman Elementary — each earned priority school status.
Performance composite scores for the district’s elementary schools were 50 percent for Aurelian Springs (priority), 30.7 percent for Dawson (low performing), 41.5 percent for Everetts (low performing), 54.6 percent for Hollister (priority), 24.7 percent for Inborden (low performing), 48 percent for Pittman and 50 percent for Scotland Neck Primary (priority).
Performance composite scores for the district’s middle schools are: 43.2 percent for Enfield and 36.8 percent for William R. Davie (low performing).
For the high schools, performance composite scores are: 44.8 percent for Northwest and 36.1 percent for Southeast.
Both high schools also earned Low-Performing Schools status.
Across the state, graduation rates improved in the 2010-11 academic year, with 78 percent of students completing high school four years after they start, a level school officials said was the highest ever reported in North Carolina.
That’s up from 74 percent the previous year, according to the annual ABCs of Public Education report, which shows how students performed on End of Year and End of Course tests taken in grades 3 through 12.
But the schools meeting or beating expected academic growth fell to 81 percent last year from 88 percent in 2009-10.
The reasons for the drop are unclear, state schools superintendent June Atkinson said, but may be a result of several years of budget cutbacks forcing staff cuts that result in fewer educators working with students.
“I do believe that these drops reflect the continued education cuts that we have had to make over the past three years,” she said.
— Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Definition of ABCs categories:
Honor Schools of Excellence are schools that made at least expected growth, had at least 90 percent of their students’ scores at or above Achievement Level III, and made AYP.
Schools of Excellence are schools that made at least expected growth and had at least 90 percent of their students’ scores at or above Achievement Level III but did not make AYP.
Schools of Distinction are schools that made at least expected growth and had at least 80 percent of their students’ scores at or above Achievement Level III (but were not Honor Schools of Excellence or Schools of Excellence).
Schools of Progress are schools that made at least expected growth and had at least 60 percent of their students’ scores at or above Achievement Level III (but were not Honor Schools of Excellence or Schools of Excellence or Distinction).
Schools Receiving No Recognition did not make their expected growth standards but have at least 60 percent of their students’ scores at or above Achievement Level III.
Priority Schools are schools that have less than 60 percent of their students’ scores at or above Achievement Level III, irrespective of making their expected growth standards, and are not Low-Performing Schools.
Low-Performing Schools are those that failed to meet their expected growth standards and have less than 50 percent of their students’ scores at or above Achievement Level III.