Grades average, grad rate high

By: Alan Wooten - Bladen Journal

West Bladen High School scored a B in the annual School Performance Grade accountability measurement.

Eight county schools scored a C in the results released Wednesday to the State Board of Education by the Public Schools of North Carolina. Across the state, more than one-third of the 2,537 schools earned As and Bs, with nearly three quarters meeting or exceeding expectations for academic progress.

About 22 percent statewide received a D or F; three in Bladen County picked up a D, and one had an F.

The four-year Cohort Graduation Rate was also released for the Class of 2018. The rate tracks students who entered ninth grade in 2014.

East Bladen, at 92.6 percent, and West Bladen, at 87.2 percent, each topped the state average of 86.3 percent.

In a news release, the state school system explained changes to the state’s accountability measurements required under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act means 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, the state system said, 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.

“In terms of the performance of individual students on state end-of-grade and end-of-course exams,” the state system said, “calculations for determining rates of Grade Level Proficiency (GLP) and College and Career Readiness (CCR) are unchanged from past years.”

The state school system said “school grades continue to correlate closely with the poverty levels of schools.”

For schools with more than 81 percent of students coming from low-income families, 69 percent of the schools received a D or F. In schools with poverty rates between 61 and 80 percent, 45 percent of the schools received a D or F.

In schools with poverty rates less than 20 percent, only 1.7 percent of schools received a D or F. For schools between 21 and 40 percent poverty, 3.6 percent received a D or F.

West Bladen’s B was followed by eight schools earning a C: East Bladen High, Bladenboro Middle, Bladenboro Primary, Bladen Lakes Primary, Clarkton School of Discovery, Dublin Primary, Elizabethtown Primary and Plain View Primary. Saddled with a D were Booker T. Washington Primary, Elizabethtown Middle and Tar Heel Middle. An F was given to East Arcadia Elementary.

Alan Wooten

Bladen Journal

Alan Wooten can be reached at 910-247-9132 or Twitter: @alanwooten19.

Alan Wooten can be reached at 910-247-9132 or Twitter: @alanwooten19.