School accountability scores for districts across the state were released Wednesday, assessing test scores, growth, graduation rates and more.
In Lenoir County, 15 of 17 schools met or exceeded academic growth.
“We were a low performing district just four years ago, and in the last three years we have come out of low performing status,” said Brent Williams, superintendent for Lenoir County Public Schools.
Six Lenoir County schools increased their performance letter grade, and the graduation rate rose to 84.6 percent.
“Our graduation rate is currently at an all-time high, and we cut our dropout rate 40 percent over the past three years,” he said.
Five Lenoir County Schools received D or F letter grades, but Williams said that does not tell the whole story.
“The letter grades — is an 80/20 measurement with growth being 20 percent and 80 percent being proficiency,” said Williams. “I believe growth is a significant factor because it shows where the students actually start and where they end at the end of the year.”
Other schools in the East are echoing the same sentiment.
In a statement, the Onslow County School District said, “Overall, 80 percent of the district’s schools met or exceeded growth.”
In Duplin County, it is the first time in 22 years that every single school met or exceeded growth.
In Pitt County the graduation rate is 84.7 percent, the second highest ever for the district. Also, 27 out of 34 schools met or exceeded growth expectations. However, more than a dozen schools have an F or D letter grade in Pitt County, many of them elementary or middle schools.
Pitt County Schools superintended Ethan Lenker spoke at a news conference regarding the scores later Thursday afternoon.
“Elementary and middle schools are focused on one thing, test scores, and high schools have multiple aspects that go into the grading system,” said Lenker. “Elementary and middle schools, it’s based on test scores.”
Lenker said he anticipates more immediate growth in Pitt County Schools during the 2018 and 2019 school year.
Williams said while he celebrates Lenoir County Schools’ progress, the district needs to continue to work on proficiency and improve act scores.
“We want record-high student achievements, student proficiency as well,” said Williams. “We want those letter grades to keep going up and to keep moving onward and upward for every student.”
You can find the report card for your school system here.