Performance grades for North Carolina public schools for the 2017-18 school year were released at Wednesday’s State Board of Education meeting.
The new reports show more than one-third of schools earned grades of A or B, while 22 percent of schools scored D or F.
In a news release accompanying the report, state officials noted:
“Because of changes to the state’s accountability measurements required under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, school grades, growth results and graduation rates for the 2017-18 school year are not comparable to past performance during the five years the state has assessed schools using A-F letter grades and 13 years reporting the Cohort Graduation Rate. Schools are now accountable for the progress of non-English speaking students in mastering English skills and are also subject to a number of other changes affecting School Performance Grades, growth calculations and the graduation rate.”
Wake County school leaders noted the district’s four-year graduation rate increased to 89.1 percent, up from 88.5 percent the previous year. School administrators have set a goal of achieving a 95 percent graduation rate by 2020.
“I think we’re feeling pretty optimistic about that. We have the highest rate ever this year for the third consecutive year. We’ve got about 19 schools that are above 90 percent, so we feel like it’s within reach,” said Brad McMillen, assistant superintendent for data, research and accountability.
In Wake County, the following schools received a grade of A: Apex Friendship High, Davis Drive Elementary, Davis Drive Middle, Green Hope High, Heritage Middle, Jones Dairy Elementary, Mills Park Elementary, Mills Park Middle, Panther Creek High, Sycamore Creek Elementary, Wake STEM Early College High School, Wake Early College of Health and Science, Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy.
“It really helped when you have teachers who are constantly there to remind you of your worth and your intelligence, and that just because something is hard doesn’t make it impossible,” said Caryl Emmanuel, a senior at Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy.
The following Wake County schools received a grade of F: Bugg Elementary, Creech Road Elementary and East Wake Middle.
“I thought the schools were doing fine. I need to know how you came up with the grades you gave the schools,” said Powell Ann Peebles, as she waited to pick up her granddaughter at Bugg Elementary Wednesday.
CBS 17 asked Asst. Superintendent McMillen about the underperforming schools.
“Well, all due respect to the state, the letter grades don’t give us a whole lot of detailed information about what we need to do that,” he said.
WCPSS posted its own report cards Wednesday, as well, for individual schools. Those can be found here.
“Anything that’s having success somewhere, that it doesn’t remain a secret. And, it’s something we can leverage for all of our students across the district,” McMillen said.