A picture of ABC blocks.


  • General Assembly directed the State Board of Education (SBE) to develop a restructuring plan for public education. The State Board conducted an in-depth study involving public hearings, surveys and interviews; reviewed current mandates and operating procedures; and undertook a major organizational analysis to relate all education operations to the mission. In May 1995, the New ABCs of Public Education outlined the framework for a dramatic restructuring.


  • One hundred eight schools in ten school districts piloted The New ABCs of Public Education. The systems were Albemarle, Alleghany, Asheville City, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank, Duplin, Halifax, Lexington, McDowell, Bladen, and Lincoln.


  • General Assembly approved the State Board’s plan and put into law the School-Based Management and Accountability Program (the ABCs).


  • ABCs implementation began for schools with grades K-8.
  • DPI communicated ABCs Procedures to principals and teachers.
  • Assistance teams were formed and trained; assistance was offered to schools that asked for it.
  • Steering Committee for Assessment and Accountability was established by the SBE to develop the High School Model.
  • Compliance Commission for Accountability was established by the SBE to advise on testing and other issues related to school accountability and improvement. The commission was to be composed of two members from each of eight educational districts and four at-large members to represent parents, business, and the community.
  • The first ABCs Report submitted to the State Board of Education in August.
  • All schools achieving exemplary growth standards received incentive awards ($1,000 for certified staff; $500 for teacher assistants).


  • Designated Low-Performing schools received assistance teams.
  • The next phase of statewide reform was implemented with the high school accountability model. It was considered a "work in progress" with re-examination, changes and adjustments to come.
  • The model included results on five mandated EOCs, a high school writing test (English II ­ time was extended to allow students 100 minutes); percentages completing College Prep/CollegeTech Prep (based on a year to year change); SAT scores and participation rates were reported.
  • Two measures, the passing rates on the high school competency tests and dropout rates, were scheduled for implementation for the subsequent year.
  • The Comprehensive Test in Reading and Mathematics was administered to determine cohort growth from grade 8 to grade 10. This was to satisfy the Senate Bill 1139 legislation that called for measuring student growth (for high schools). Initially, results were to "count" for the accountability year, but it was decided to delay inclusion of these data in the growth composite for high schools until the following year.
  • Growth for K-8 schools was computed using both the "old" unmatched grade 3 parameters, and the "new" (1996-97) matched group grade 3 parameters. The higher of the two growth computations was used in the final computations for growth.
  • 7th Grade Writing was included in computing growth, since this was the third year of data collection; it had previously been used only in the performance composite.
  • Algebra I scores from grades prior to the ninth grade were included in the computations for performance composite for high schools.
  • A confidence band for the performance composite was computed; this allowed schools a safety margin for measurement error. Schools could be slightly below 50% at or above grade level and not be penalized.
  • ABCs status label No Recognition was changed to Adequate Performance.
  • Charter Schools were included in the ABCs reporting for the first time.
  • A Comprehensive model was defined for schools that had grades included in both the K-8 and high school configurations. The school faculty voted on whether the Comprehensive model would be used to evaluate the school for the accountability year, and the vote was to be reflected in the School Improvement Plan.
  • Alternative schools were asked to submit proposals of better ways to be evaluated in subsequent accountability years.
  • Reporting guidelines were developed to accommodate feeder patterns for special education schools, alternative schools and K-2 feeder schools; high schools with major demographic shifts were accommodated under special conditions; reporting accommodations were implemented for schools with insufficient data, and guidelines were developed to handle senior high schools under the ABCs.
  • It was decided that during this accountability year, no alternative schools or special schools were to be identified as Low-Performing.
  • EOC test scores of students in middle grades were used in the high school portion of the performance composite score but not the gain composite score.

1997-98 continues...

  • K-8 and high school results under the ABCs were reported in A Report Card for the ABCs of Public Education, Volume I.
  • All schools making Expected or Exemplary Growth/Gain were awarded incentives per the Excellent Schools Act, enacted by the General Assembly ($1500 for certified staff, $500 for teacher assistants in schools making Exemplary Growth/Gain; schools making Expected growth/gain received $750 for certified staff; $375 for teacher assistants).
  • A Report Card for the ABCs of Public Education was made available on the DPI web site.


  • The SBE increased the membership of the Compliance Commission for Accountability from the original 20 members to 22 members to include an SBE member and an additional At-Large business member.
  • The Comprehensive model was applied to all schools.
  • Five additional EOC tests were added to the performance composite score.
  • The High School Comprehensive Test growth parameters were approved; the growth component was included in the high school growth/gain computations.
  • The competency passing rate was included in the high school growth/gain computations.
  • Algebra I scores for middle grades counted toward gain and performance at high schools.
  • Data collection guidelines and procedures were documented in an Accountability Processing Checklist to incorporate roles of LEA, regional coordinators, and the agency staff.
  • Insufficient data rule was documented for high schools (less than 30 students in a given course for a given year of the three years data).
  • Dual enrollment policies were documented and disseminated.
  • Membership rule for Comprehensive Tests was approved (160 days).
  • Revised grade 3 parameters were applied to the grade 3 growth computations.
  • A Report Card for the ABCs of Public Education, Volume 2 included ABCs dropout data.
  • Alternative schools with sufficient data were included in the ABCs on the basis of their data; schools with insufficient data were awarded prorated incentives based on the feeder schools.
  • The labels Top 10/25 Schools and Adequate Performance were changed to Most Improved 10/25 and No Recognition, respectively.


  • A rule for dropping courses in high school (10/20 Day Rule) was implemented.
  • Alternative Schools were included in the ABCs under HSP-C-013. Web interface was developed for data collection for alternative schools to enter local option data online.
  • Department of Health, Human Services (DHHS) and Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) Schools were included in the ABCs.
  • Schools were given test administration options for fall English II Tests due to catastrophic weather.
  • The SBE appointed a Writing Assessment Task Force.
  • Full ABCs documentation was made available on the Accountability web site.


  • EOC prediction formulas for 10 multiple-choice EOCs were implemented; this fully addressed concerns related to comparing different cohorts over time at the high school level.
  • Dropout rate change was added to the growth computations in high schools.
  • Computer Skills testing results at grade 8 were added to the performance composite.
  • EOC prediction formulas’ exemplary growth standard was adjusted from 105% to 103%.
  • Weighting the ABCs growth composites was adopted by the SBE in part to eliminate concern over small groups of students having the same impact as large groups of students in the determination of whether the school met growth standards.
  • Alternate Assessment Portfolio was added to the performance composite.
  • Writing at grades 4 and 7 was removed from the growth composites, but remained a part of the performance composite.
  • The North Carolina Alternate Assessment Academic Inventory and the Computerized Adaptive Testing System were approved by SBE to be pilot tested and included in ABCs Volume II Report.


  • The State Board of Education approved revisions to the ABCs classifications for the 2001-2002 school year.
  • The term high growth will now be used in place of exemplary growth.
  • The term growth will now be used in place of growth/gain in all designations of meeting or exceeding growth or gain standards.
  • Three tests were eliminated for the 2001-2002 school year: Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, Open-ended Assessments in grades 4 and 8, and the High School Comprehensive Tests in Reading and Mathematics at grade 10. (Only the latter had been included in the ABCs.)
  • English II was suspended and will not be included in the ABCs until new tests are developed.
  • Revised format for reporting data in ABCs Volume II, and changed the name to Reports of Supplemental Disaggregated State, District and School Performance Data for 2000-2001.
  • SBE approved the revised achievement levels determined from the Summer of 2001 equating study for student reporting, student accountability standards gateways, student competency standard, and ABCs reporting (performance composites).
  • SBE approved the growth formulas that were used for grades 3-8 with the 2000-2001 ABCs for growth calculations for the 2001-2002 ABCs.