State reports scores, graduation rates
Public schools in Denver are doing a better job at successfully teaching hard-to-reach student demographics than their countywide counterparts.
In the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s annual “ABCs of Education” report released last week, data showed that every public school in Denver met their Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) on state-mandated End of Grade and End of Course tests.
Ten schools throughout the rest of the county, including West Lincoln High, failed to meet at least one AMO.
The state divides students within a school or district by subgroups based on race, socio-economic status and disabilities and expects certain percentages of students within each group to show proficiency on statewide testing. Students must score a Level 3 or higher on End of Grade or End of Year tests to be considered proficient by the state.
AMOs replaced federal Adequate Yearly Progress benchmarks after North Carolina received a waiver from No Child Left Behind requirements. Schools with a greater amount of diversity, and therefore more AMOs to meet, might have a harder time meeting all of their targets.
Lincoln Charter, Rock Springs Elementary and North Lincoln High earned Honor School of Excellence designations from the state – the highest recognition a school can receive. This means at least 90 percent of students, as well as students with the ethnic and socio-economic AMO subgroups, scored a Level 3 or higher on state tests.
No other schools in the district obtained the honor.
“We will celebrate our successes and achievements, but we will also use the data to identify strengths and areas for improvement,” Superintendent Sherry Hoyle said in a statement. “We will continue to work with our staff and community to focus on school improvement, academic achievement and college/career readiness for our students.”
All but one school in the area, East Lincoln High, met state academic growth expectations – the amount of academic progress state education officials expect schools to make during one school year. This amount varies from school to school because it’s based on each school’s previous performance and statewide academic growth.
Only three area schools, however – Lincoln Charter, Rock Springs Elementary and St. James Elementary – met high growth standards. To meet high growth schools must meet expected growth standards and at least 60 percent of students within each AMO subgroup must show proficiency on statewide testing.
East Lincoln High’s graduation rate came in at 79.2 percent – below the state’s rate of 80.2 percent and the district’s rate of 86.4. It’s also a drop from last year’s graduation rate of 82.2 percent.
North Lincoln High reported an 88.8 percent graduation rate while Lincoln Charter led the area graduating more than 95 percent of seniors.
Jonathan Bryant, assistant chief administrator at Lincoln Charter, said that he expects the school to be named one of the few schools in the state with a 100 percent graduation rate. That information will be available later in the year when the state releases more specific numbers for schools with the top graduating classes.
“We had 62 seniors this past year and I believe that all of them started and finished this year,” Bryant said.
He added that the charter school lays out its high expectations to students and parents when they begin school. The school has no special program in place to help students meet graduation requirements.
“We have high standards that we try to make sure everyone knows about so there’s not a lot of guesswork with us,” he said.
This will be the last year that the state releases its ABCs of Education report. The N.C. Department of Public Instruction plans to shift to online testing and an A-F rating system in the upcoming school year.
For a full report on area schools’ proficiency rates and state title designations, go online to www.denverncweekly.com and read the story “Eight area schools earn School of Excellence designations from state.”