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WCPS Releases 2017-18 Accountability Results

On Wednesday, September 5, the 2017-18 Accountability and School Performance Grades Report was presented to the State Board of Education. Click on Tables to see a full breakdown of WCPS results. In a snapshot, the report states:

  • The district’s four-year Cohort Graduation Rate is 82.5%, compared to 84.3% the previous year. This is the fourth highest rate ever produced by WCPS. The state’s Cohort Graduation Rate is 86.3%.
  • 19 of 30 schools (63.3%) met or exceeded expected growth. 
  • Based on a 15-point scale, the following School Performance Letter Grades were received: One A (85-100), two B’s (70-84), Fifteen C’s (55-69), eight D’s (40-54), and four F’s (Less than 40).
  • More than 94% of WCPS 12 graders earned Math Course Rigor by successfully completing a Math III course.
  • 11 of 17 tested areas (64.7%) showed improvements in college and career readiness, and 9 of 17 (52.9%) tested areas showed improvements in grade level proficiency.
  • 16 of 29 schools (55.2%) posted higher school performances scores than in the previous year.
  • Three schools improved their School Performance Grades, including two schools (Spring Creek Elementary and Southern Wayne High) which are expected to be removed from the state's list of low-performing schools.
  • A new measure was added this year - English Learner Progress. EL Progress reports the percentage of EL students who are progressing appropriately toward proficiency. WCPS achieved an EL Progress rate of 44.6%, compared with 44.9% statewide.
  • 43.7% of WCPS 11th Grade students who took the ACT earned at least a 17, the UNC system minimum score. 
  • 80.5% of WCPS students, who are Career & Technical Education concentrators, earned a Silver certificate or higher on the ACT WorkKeys assessments. 

What is the state’s school accountability program? 
North Carolina’s school accountability program uses rigorous standards and assessments in order to better assess how prepared students are for college or the workforce.  This is the first year schools were measured using a new accountability model designed to meet state and federal standards.

How are School Performance Grades calculated?  
As required by state legislation, the School Performance Grades are based 80 percent on the school’s achievement score and 20 percent on students’ academic growth. Elementary and middle schools’ achievement scores are based only on test scores. These include end-of-grade reading and mathematics tests at the 3-8 grade levels; end-of-grade science tests at grades 5 and 8, if applicable, end-of-course tests in Math I, and English Learner Progress.

The high school achievement score is based on student performance on Math I, English II and Biology end-of-course tests, and on the percentage of students who score 17 or above on The ACT (UNC System’s minimum composite score requirement) or who achieved a Silver Certificate or better on the ACT WorkKeys, the percentage of 12th grade students who have successfully completed Math III, the school’s four-year cohort graduation rate, and English Learner Progress.

What is Academic Growth?
Academic Growth is a valuable indicator of the school’s impact on a students’ learning. A student’s academic growth is calculated using his or her achievement scores from state end-of-grade assessments.  While a single achievement score is a reflection of a student’s performance at a single point in time, a student’s academic growth charts his/her performance over multiple points in time.  

Should parents be concerned if their child’s school has a low School Performance Grade or lower academic scores?
One letter grade cannot capture all of the positive things happening in a school. Parents are encouraged to talk to a school’s principal and teachers and to look at all of the school measures reflected in the North Carolina School Report Cards to determine how their child’s school is doing in comparison to others in the district and across the state.

How is WCPS working to improve academic performance in schools?
“In looking at this year’s accountability results, our schools have remained fairly consistent with the previous year, with some seeing slight gains or losses,” states Dr. Michael Dunsmore, Superintendent. “We recognize that there is still much work ahead, and our school and district administrators are now pouring through the accountability data to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses. As a district, we have already begun to retool professional development opportunities for our teachers. District administrators are also taking a close look at the myriad of research based strategies and programs which are currently being used in schools, and will be working with school administrators and staff to help ensure we have best practices in place to advance teaching and learning in the classroom.” 


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