Gastonia, N.C. – According to the state accountability program results released today by the State Board of Education, 43 of 54 GCS schools made high or expected growth under higher more challenging standards. Nearly every school in Gaston County either improved proficiency or averaged a year’s academic progress in 2010-2011.
W. A. Bess and Highland achieved high growth and both were named Honor Schools of Excellence. Only 8.4 percent of the schools in the state attained this high standing. Bessemer City Early College, in its first year of accountability, achieved the School of Excellence status.
Eleven schools earned the School of Distinction honor and 23 achieved School of Progress status. No schools were designated Low Performing.
The state raised the bar on the accountability program over the past few years by changing the growth formula and increasing the standards required to score at grade level. These higher standards make it much more challenging for students in the state to achieve proficiency and make expected or high growth on the ABCs of Public Education program.
Superintendent L. Reeves McGlohon said, “I am pleased that a majority of our schools made academic progress even with a tighter budget and fewer classroom resources. I believe this progress reflects the commitment of our teachers, principals, students and parents – it was a team effort. Even during tough economic times, all of those involved rolled up their sleeves and worked as a team to help our children achieve success.”
McGlohon says, “Our schools have made significant academic progress over the past few years, but we continue to lose state funding and resources. You simply can’t keep improving with less people to do the job, no textbook money and fewer resources for the classroom. At some point, inevitably, we will lose ground and that is why I am extremely concerned – eventually, it will significantly impact the success of our students.”
The ABCs of Public Education is a comprehensive plan initiated in 1996-97 by the state to improve public schools. The plan is based on strong accountability, an emphasis on the basics and high educational standards and on providing schools with local control.
Results for grades 3-8 were first reported following the 1996-97 school year. In 1997-98, the high schools were added to the program. No state testing occurs in grades K-2.
The ABCs report is based on several measures of performance. These include reading and mathematics end-of-grade tests in grades three through eight, science end-of-grade tests in grades five and eight, and Algebra I in eighth grade.
In high school, the ABCs report is based on student performance on seven mandated end-of-course tests: Algebra I, Algebra II, Biology, English I, U.S. History, Civics and Economics, and Physical Science along with the Writing Assessment at Grade 10 and other measures. For complete details of how these measures are included in the ABCs, go to www.ncpublicschools.org.
School results on the ABCs are reported as the following: Honor Schools of Excellence, Schools of Excellence, Schools of Distinction, Schools of Progress, No Recognition, Priority Schools, Low Performing Schools and schools with High Growth and Expected Growth.
Highlights of the 2011 ABCs:
- Growth: 43 of 54 schools made expected growth – 20 of those also made high growth.
- W.A. Bess and Highland were named Honor Schools of Excellence. This is the tenth time since the program started in 1996-97 that Bess has achieved this prestigious status. Bessemer City Early College High School achieved the School of Excellence status.
- Eleven schools were named Schools of Distinction. They are: Belmont Central, Hawks Nest, New Hope, Page, Robinson, Cramerton, Mt. Holly, Stanley, East Gaston, North Gaston, and South Point.
- Highest proficiency: At the elementary level, W.A. Bess, Belmont Central/Page, Hawks Nest and New Hope reported the highest proficiency. In middle school, Cramerton and Mt. Holly had the highest and Highland boasts the top proficiency in the high school.
- Greatest gains: The schools with the greatest gains at the elementary school level were: North Belmont +10.5; Pleasant Ridge +9.6; H.H. Beam +5.5 and Rankin +5.2. Middle schools with greatest gains: Southwest +4.9, Stanley +4.1 and Bessemer City Middle +3.3.
- At the high school level, South Point and North Gaston saw the highest increases.
Attached are charts showing a school-by-school summary of the 2010-2011 ABCs results.