SUPERINTENDENTS' MESSAGES 2015

MESSAGES 2015 :: FEBRUARY 6, 2015

Clips - Feb. 6, 2015

A-F SCHOOL PERFORMANCE GRADES NEWS/OPINION

NC public school letter grades reflect wealth of students' families (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The first performance grades for North Carolina public schools were released Thursday and show a strong correlation between grades and wealth.

June Atkinson, state school superintendent, talks about performance grades for public schools (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Listen to June Atkinson, North Carolina state school superintendent, talk about public school letter grades after they were released Thursday during a press conference at the Education Building in Raleigh on Thursday Feb. 5, 2015.

North Carolina education officials release grades for all public schools (ABC 11) -- All public schools in North Carolina got letter grades from A-F from the State Board of Education Thursday.Eighty percent of the grades are based on how students performed on standardized tests. Twenty percent of the grades are tied to how much academic growth students showed while enrolled at the school.

NC schools get A through F grades on student performance (WNCN) -- North Carolina's first School Performance Grades are out, and 65.4 percent of elementary and middle schools earned a grade of C or better, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

NC Department of Public Instruction Releases New School Performance Grades (TWCN-TV) -- The state department of public instruction released the new school performance grades Thursday morning. This is the first year North Carolina is using the new school performance grading system. 
 

Report Cards: 9 of WNC's 235 public schools earn an A (Carolina Public Press) -- Carolina Public Press analyzed the grades for all of Western North Carolina's public schools (which include charter schools). How did your school and school system do? 
 

29-Percent of North Carolina Public Schools Rated 'D' Or 'F' (WUNC-FM) -- North Carolina public schools received letter grades for the first time on Thursday, with high-poverty schools receiving more Ds and Fs than those with fewer low-income students. Under the new A through F grading system, more than two-thirds of schools received Cs, Ds or Fs and only about 5% earned As. At Allen Middle School in Greensboro, 93 percent of students receive free or reduced price meals. 
 

State releases first school report cards (WRAL-TV) -- Amid concern from school leaders and teachers across North Carolina, the state Board of Education on Thursday approved new lawmaker-driven standards for grading public schools. THE WHOLE STORY
 

Governor McCrory Issues Statement On School Performance Report  (Governor's Press Office) Governor McCrory issued the following statement after the release of the State Board of Education's 2013-2014 School Performance Grades for traditional public and charter schools."Today, our state took a positive first step to provide North Carolina's parents, communities and policymakers with a clear measure of what matters most: our students' academic achievement," Governor McCrory said. "When a school is struggling, we need to work together to provide it the support it needs. When a school is excelling, we need to learn from and spread that excellence, so that every child, regardless of circumstance, has the opportunity to reach their potential.

Berger Statement On Public School Grades (N.C. Political News) — Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) issued the following response Thursday regarding the release of 2013-2014 school performance grades for North Carolina Public Schools: "Public school grades will increase transparency, encourage support and reform for struggling schools and allow us to explore what our top performers are doing right so we can replicate their best practices elsewhere. We're troubled by early knee-jerk reactions that appear to condemn poor children to automatic failure. And we reject the premise that high poverty schools are incapable of excelling, since today's report shows numerous examples that are proving that myth wrong. We must give these grades a chance to work so we can learn from them and improve outcomes for our children." 
 
Speaker Moore Comments On A-F Public School Ratings (N.C. Political News) -- Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) issued the following statement in response the release of North Carolina's first A-F public school ratings: "It is extremely important that the public is aware of school performance in our state, and the A-F scale is a recognizable way of measuring and delivering that information. That being said, the House will continue to work with the Senate, State Board of Education, Department of Public Instruction, and local school systems to refine this performance model to ensure it measures exactly what is going on in our children's classrooms," Speaker Moore stated on Thursday morning. "The children of North Carolina, regardless of their socioeconomic status, deserve the best education that we can offer. A focus will always be made to ensure all schools receive the resources and support they need for their students to perform at levels comparable to their peers throughout the state." 
 

Why one A-F grade for a school makes about as much sense as one A-F grade for your child (NC Policy Watch)  Yesterday, North Carolina took the latest in an series of steps cooked up by conservative advocates and ideologues to demoralize and depopulate our public education system (what they call "government schools") — the release of the  much ballyhooed A-F grades for individual schools. As we've quickly learned — surprise!! — schools with lots of poor kids tend to fare poorly on standardized tests. Who could have guessed?

The biggest failure of the A-F grades (Charlotte Observer editorial) - If you believe, as we do, that standardized tests are a valuable tool for measuring how our students and teachers are performing, you should be cringing at Thursday's release of A-F letter grades for North Carolina's public schools.

EDITORIAL: State's new performance grade system gets an "I" — for incomplete (Sanford Herald) --A perfunctory look at the N.C. Department of Public Instruction's school performance grades, released Thursday, is disturbing, especially with almost 30 percent of the state's public schools receiving a grade of either "D" or "F." In Lee County, there were no "F" grades, but five of 13 graded schools received a mark of "D."In assessing the grades, though, you have to assess the grading system. As that's been done in recent weeks and months, in anticipation of the release of the grades, it's important to note that many people with knowledge of the state's new method of measuring our schools would respond with a grade of "I" — as in "incomplete" — for the grading method itself.

More than a letter (Sanford Herald) -- Lee County educators say low DPI grades not indicative of students', teachers' work

Low-grade schools: State releases school report cards (Kinston.com) -- Reactions to the new school grades released Thursday tended to land on two topics — growth and poverty."I think it's really telling that that 100 percent of the schools that were graded F have at least 50 percent (students in) poverty," Lenoir County Public Schools spokesman Patrick Holmes said. "And 97 percent of the schools that made Ds have a significant student poverty population, and that's not factored into this formula at all."

Ds dominate report card, Atkinson: Expected growth matters more (Richmond Daily Journal) -- As Superintendent Cindy Goodman predicted, Richmond County Schools did not fare well on the state's controversial new school report cards, with half of the district's 14 schools receiving "D" grades. Those grades, however, don't paint the whole picture. Only four county schools failed to meet or exceed expected growth for the 2013-14 school year, which the state superintendent calls a better barometer of school success.

'We're so much more than a letter grade' (High Point Enterprise) -- If local administrators and educators were to grade a new system labeling schools statewide Thursday with grades based on proficiency and growth, they would give it an F. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction released the first School Performance Grades on Thursday, rating most High Point-area schools a C or D. None received an A. Schools previously were classified in categories such as "schools of excellence," "schools of progress" or "low performing." But state lawmakers scrapped that system and replaced it with the issuance of letter grades with the 2013-14 data released Thursday.

N.C. schools assigned A through F grades (AP) — About one out of 20 North Carolina public schools are getting an "A'' while about 6 percent brought home an "F'' on new statewide school report cards.The State Board of Education on Thursday unveiled grades for more than 2,400 public schools. This year's generous grading curve means more than 70 percent of the state's schools got a grade of "C'' or better.Schools could only receive an "F'' if they score below 40 out of 100 points. Students themselves receive an "F'' grade if they score below 63.Eighty percent of the school grades are based on how students performed on standardized tests.All schools receiving a "D'' or "F'' must send letters to students' parents informing them of the grade.The A-F school grades website: www.ncpublicschools.org/src

How were the school grades calculated and how will they be used? (Wilmington Star-News) -- Q. How did the state determine the grade for each school? A. As a parent, local school officials say, it's important to understand how school letter grades were generated. At the elementary and middle school level, achievement – which counts as 80 percent of a school's letter grade – is determined based on end-of-grade proficiency scores for grades three-eight in reading/language arts and math as well as end-of-grade scores in science for fifth and eighth grades. End-of-grade scores in Math I and Biology are also counted at middle schools that offer those courses. High school scores are based on end-of-course proficiency in Math I, English II and Biology, earning a passing grade in Math III, the school's graduation rate, and ACT and ACT WorkKeys assessments. The other 20 percent of a school's letter grade is based on growth, which measures the amount of progress students make in an academic year.

Lawmakers: School Performance Grades Law May Need Adjustment(TWCN- TV) -- The newly released school performance grades were mandated by a law approved by the General Assembly and lawmakers are reacting to scores with many saying the law may need to be adjusted.

Majority of area schools earn C or higher in state grading (Wilmington Star-News) At least two-thirds of schools in each of the three area counties earned letter grades of a C or higher on N.C. school report cards released Thursday. But school officials were quick to criticize the letter grade approach, saying it doesn't accurately reflect progress students are making.

Schools in Orange County earn mostly A, B and C grades from new review (Raleigh News & Observer) --Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools earned mostly A's and B's under the state's new scoring system, according to a report released Thursday, while the Orange County Schools earned more B's and C's.Most city schools met or exceeded expectations for student growth, while six county schools failed to meet expectations, according to the results. School in both districts, but particularly in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, still earned better grades than most of their peers.

More Than Half of Durham Public Schools Receive 'D,' 'F' Grade (TWCN – TV) -- Parents of students attending C.C. Spaulding Elementary in Durham say they're concerned about a failing grade the school received Thursday through the state's new system.

WCPSS: School Grades Aren't Accurate Representations of School Performance (TWCN – TV) North Carolina's largest school system didn't have any schools with a failing grade and 10 percent of Wake County schools earned an "A."

Superintendents worry state report cards don't tell the whole picture (EdNC) -- Local superintendents agree as leaders of the three school systems in Davidson County they should be held accountable to ensure students are learning, growing and succeeding in the classroom. 
 

School chiefs: New grading system incomplete (Elizabeth City Daily Advance) -- The school letter grades released by the State Board of Education on Thursday paint an incomplete picture of the actual learning taking place in area classrooms, area school superintendents said.

State releases performance scores, Dr, Moody "not pleased," pledges action (WECT) The performance scores released from the state on Thursday were disappointing for Rowan-Salisbury Schools, and Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody is not pleased.The individual grades for schools in the Rowan-Salisbury system were between B's and F's.  In the Kannapolis City school district the grades ranged between C and D.

Mostly Cs, Ds for schools (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- A new state measure to grade school performance gave passing grades to 28 out of 33 public schools in Pitt County, but school officials said the results could be misleading.The grades, part of the first North Carolina School Report Card released by the state Department of Public Instruction, showed that Pitt County Schools received four Bs, 14 Cs, 10 Ds and five Fs for its schools for the 2013-14 year.

Local schools given letter grades, Six earn 'C' or better (Laurinburg Exchange) -- In the N.C. Department of Public Instruction's first year of assigning letter grades to public schools statewide, six of the 13 Scotland County schools graded earned marks of C or above for the 2013-2014 school year.North Carolina's first School Performance Grades were released on Thursday, based primarily upon student achievement as measured by proficiency on state End of Grade and End of Course examinations. Achievement scores for high schools are also based on student ACT and WorkKeys scores, math course rigor, and graduation rates.

NC Schools Assigned A Through F Grades On Student Results (WPTF) — About one out of 20 North Carolina public schools are getting an A while about 6 percent brought home an F on new statewide school report cards released Thursday using a generous grading curve. All schools receiving a D or F must send letters to students' parents informing them of the grade.

NC Board of Education unveils school performance grades (Fox Wilmington) --The State Board of Education unveiled Thursday the new school performance grades for all state public schools.The General Assembly passed legislation in 2012 that requires the state to issue A-F grades for nearly all schools in North Carolina. These grades were based on a 15-point scale for the first report card, but will be reported on a 10-point scale in the following years.

School Report Cards, School Performance Grades Released (High Country Press) -- The State Board of Education released the School Report Cards and School Performance Grades today for all schools and school districts in North Carolina.School Report Cards are issued annually to provide information about state test results, average class size, faculty qualifications, and other factors for each school and school district. The Report Cards released today reflect data for the 2013-14 school year and include the new School Performance Grade.

Report card: three schools make a D, two score an A (Hendersonville Lightening) -- Although three schools made a D on the state's new letter-grade report cards, Henderson County school administrators pointed to the system's overall high marks, including the fifth highest percentage of academic growth targets met in the state, the school system said.

Haywood schools receive letter grades (Haywood Mountaineer) -- The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction recently released its North Carolina School Report Cards for 2013-14, which may be leaving some people scratching their heads.The School Report Cards offer up-to-date information about student achievement and attendance, school safety, school technology and other topics.

Mostly B's and C's for Asheville, Buncombe schools (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- Schools in Asheville and Buncombe County received mostly B's and C's as North Carolina released its first school grades Thursday.The grades are based on student performance in the 2013-14 school year.Buncombe County Early College and the School of Inquiry and Life Sciences at Asheville received A's.

Schools assigned A-F grades on student results (McDowell News) -- About one out of 20 North Carolina public schools are getting an "A" while about 6 percent brought home an "F" on new statewide school report cards.The State Board of Education on Thursday unveiled grades for more than 2,400 public schools. This year's generous grading curve means more than 70 percent of the state's schools got a grade of "C" or better.

NC schools, CMS 2013-14 performance grades released (WECT) --Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) district is responding to the state's new letter grading system. 11% of CMS schools received an A, 31% a B, 29% a C, 23% a D and 7% earned an F. The schools were judged on 20% growth and 80% proficiency. CMS Superintendent Ann Clark thinks more measures should be used to judge schools.Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools reported 41.4 percent of grades being As and Bs, with 59 percent of the schools receiving a grade of a C,D, or F in the new grading system. CMS says it performed better than the state, which reported 29.4 percent of schools receiving As and Bs.

Wake County school leaders say state grades reveal little (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Wake County school leaders are urging families not to put too much stock in Thursday's first-time release of the state's performance grades for public schools.The letter grades, ranging from A through F, are required under a new law that backers say will make it easier for parents to judge schools.

Letter grades: Most Rockingham County schools earn Cs, Ds (Greensboro News & Record) -- Most Rockingham County Schools received Cs or Ds when the state released school performance grades today.One school, Moss Street Elementary, received an F.  Rockingham County Early College High received an A. New Vision School of Science, Math and Technology received a B.

17 CMS schools score an A under new state letter grades (WCNC) -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools received their report cards today.The good news is that 17 CMS schools received grades of A but the bad news is that 59% of schools here received C, D or F grades.

From the Editors: Jack Britt and Cross Creek Early College high schools earn A grades in new state rankings (Fayetteville Observer) -- The state of North Carolina has released new rankings -- based on student performance -- of all public schools today. They are supposed to be easier to understand, as they rank the schools on the familiar A through F scale. Look for a report on fayobserver.com and in Friday's newspaper on where Cumberland County schools rank, with links to look at schools across our region. Our education reporter, Catherine Pritchard is working on the story. Meanwhile, here's a look at the high schools in Cumberland County that received grades in the report:

Schools respond to new state grades (WWAY) -- The majority of North Carolina schools received a "C" average grade, in school performance grades released Thursday. In the Cape Fear region, we also saw a lot of "C" and "D" grades, but school leaders urge parents to not jump to conclusions about this new grading system.

School Officials 'Not Surprised' By Performance Grade Results (Southern Pines Pilot) -- Moore County Schools officials said the new grading system and its results should be seen as only one component of a "bigger picture" in measuring school achievement.The N.C. Department of Instruction on Thursday released letter grades for the first time as a way of determining school performance. Each school received an A, B, C, D or F, similar to what most students receive for classes.

Three schools earn As in Cumberland County, and one school gets an F, under new grading measure (Fayetteville Observer) -- Three Cumberland County public schools were awarded As while one received an F in performance grades unveiled Thursday by the state.

School performance grades met with concern (Hendersonville Times-News) -- No Henderson County school received a failing grade from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction Thursday, when, for the first time, letter grades of A through F were assigned to the state's public schools for academic performance and growth. Three schools did receive a D, however, for the 2013-14 academic year, and some principals are concerned the grade they were awarded doesn't paint an accurate picture of their school's performance.

UPDATE: Not all North Carolina school districts happy with new grading system (WITN) -- North Carolina schools assigned A through F grades on student results About one out of 20 North Carolina public schools are getting an "A   For the first time, our state is grading schools like an exam. Statewide more than 65% of elementary and middle schools earned a C or better and about 89% of high schools did the same.

State releases letter grades for public schools (Wilmington Star News) -- The North Carolina State Board of Education released letter grades for public schools for the first time Thursday on the N.C. School Report Card.Below are the letter grades for each school in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties. Alternative schools did not receive grades. The letter grades were determined using a formula based 80 percent on school achievement and 20 percent on student growth.

Letter grades for each Gaston County school (Charlotte Observer) -- All North Carolina schools received a letter grade Thursday based on the percentage of students proficient in reading and math, and the percentage of students making substantial academic progress.

Letter grades for each Union County school (Charlotte Observer) -- All North Carolina schools received a letter grade Thursday based on the percentage of students proficient in reading and math, and the percentage of students making substantial academic progress.This is the first year schools have received grades based on a 15-point scale (meaning scores between 85 and 100 score receive an "A," between 70 and 84 receive a "B," and so on). The scale will ultimately change to a 10-point scale in future years.Here's how Union County schools did, in alphabetical order.

DPI releases letter grades for N.C. public schools (Sanford Herald) — The N.C. Department of Public Instruction has released letter grades for public schools across the state. The grades for Lee County Schools are as follows:

School report cards: Did local schools pass or fail? (Hickory Daily Record) -- The tables have turned for schools.The state Department of Public Instruction released school report cards for every public and charter school in the state Thursday morning.Out of the 42 elementary, middle and high schools in Catawba County, Challenger Early College High School came out on top, while Hickory Career and Arts Magnet School came in last.

ABSS schools get one A, two B's, 17 C's, 10 D's and four F's (Burlington Times-News) –F or the first time, North Carolina public schools got letter grades — called school performance grades — Thursday, and half of Alamance-Burlington schools got C's. Of the 34 local schools, 17 got C's, two got B's, and 10 got D's. One, the Alamance-Burlington Middle College, got an A. Four local schools got F's — Broadview Middle, and Eastlawn, Newlin and Haw River elementaries.

Most earn C or better on school report (Asheboro Courier-Tribune) -- Two-thirds of local schools earned a C or better on the first School Performance Grades released Thursday for North Carolina public and charter schools.One local school, Randolph Early College High School, received an A. No school in the area received an F.The School Performance Grades, which are for 2013-14 school year data, were presented Thursday to the State Board of Education during its monthly meeting in Raleigh as part of the annual N.C. School Report Cards which were also released for all schools in the state.

Public schools graded, most get Cs (New Burn Sun Journal) -- North Carolina's first School Report Cards are out, and more than half of Craven County Schools received a letter grade of C.School performance grades, established during the 2013 legislative session, are based 80 percent on the school's achievement score and 20 percent on students' academic growth. The grades released Thursday by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, range from A to F. All public schools, including charter, receive grades.

Most schools receive C grades on state report card (The Dispatch) -- North Carolina's first School Performance Grades released Thursday showed Davidson County Schools had 88 percent of its schools make a C or better, Lexington City Schools had 60 percent, and Thomasville City Schools had 50 percent.

School performance grades met with concern (Hendersonville Times-News) No Henderson County school received a failing grade from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction Thursday, when, for the first time, letter grades of A through F were assigned to the state's public schools for academic performance and growth.

Four Havelock schools get top grades in county (Havelock News) North Carolina's first School Report Cards are out, and more than half of Craven County Schools received a letter grade of C. School performance grades, established during the 2013 legislative session, are based 80 percent on the school's achievement score and 20 percent on students' academic growth. The grades released Thursday by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, range from A to F. All public schools, including charter, receive grades.

Will local schools make the grade? (Gaston Gazette) -- The state board of education on Thursday will unveil A through F letter grades for each of North Carolina's public schools, more than 2,500 in all.  Each school will receive an overall numeric score and a letter grade on its 2013-14 N.C. School Report Card. These additional measurements satisfy a new state law that directs the state board to calculate school achievement, growth, and performance in addition to criteria that already appears on School Report Cards.