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Higher standards mean lower test scores for NC students

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Higher academic standards mean lower test scores for students in North Carolina, according to new state-wide test results released for the first time Thursday.

The new READY assessment notes that less than half the students in third grade and above scored in the proficient range on year-end tests in reading, math and other topics. Most students rated proficient in just two tests out of 18.
    
The report replaces the ABCs of Public Education. Over the last decade and a half, it tested whether children were ready for the next grade.

Pitt County Schools said 76 percent of its schools meet or exceed expected growth, according to the model.

While most students grew in their performance, overall test scores dropped, which was expected. Pitt County's overall proficiency rate was 38.8 percent.
 
13 or 39 percent of Pitt County Schools exceeded expected academic growth. A total of 12 schools or 36 percent of Pitt County Schools met expected growth. Eight schools or 24 percent of schools in Pitt County didn't.

“The next step will be to take individual students and look at objectives by schools and by teachers, and we’ll look at teachers that were very successful and use their practices and their skills to help teach other teachers,” said Ethan Lenker, Pitt County Schools Superintendent.

In Beaufort County, 7 of the 14 schools met or exceeded academic growth. Those schools exceeding growth were: Northeast Elementary School, PS Jones Middle School, Early College High School, and Southside High School. Schools meeting growth were: Bath Elementary School, Chocowinity Primary School and Washington High School. The district says two schools, Eastern Elementary School and John Cotton Tayloe Elementary School, don't serve students in grades that receive growth data, for that reason, the state assigns the growth result of their feeder school, John Small Elementary, to both schools.

“Test results often present a mixed bag of results. That is certainly the case this year. We have to examine all of the data to help us determine where we are hitting the mark and where we have needs that must be addressed,” explained Dr. Don Phipps, Superintendent of Beaufort County Schools. “We have positive indicators in these results which are the product of a great deal of focus and hard work by students and staff alike and these results should be celebrated; however, we must also attend to the results that point to areas of need.”

Another report released on Thursday shows North Carolina fourth- and eighth-graders are near the national average in reading and math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

For statewide Accountability and Testing Results, click here.

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