Moore Schools Perform Well on Test Scores
The results of the final ABCs of Public Education test performances for public school systems showed positive results regarding the progress of Moore County Schools.
Among the county’s 23 public schools, 16 of them met expected growth in the 2011-2012 school year, with seven schools meeting high expectations. Scoring was based on end-of-grade and end-of-course tests taken in grades three through 12.
Schools Superintendent Aaron Spence said he was pleased with the results, released Thursday morning.
“We’re very happy with the progress we’re seeing, but we also know that there is room to get better,” he said. “We had four Honor Schools of Excellence, the most Moore County has ever had, so we are very happy with that.
“We also saw significant improvement in the high schools. One of my priorities as superintendent is to close the achievement gap, and as we have the opportunity to look deeper into the results, we will be studying this issue more closely.”
Spence said he felt that the scores are a “good affirmation” of progress in the school system.
“We have good schools in Moore County, and the scores bear this out,” he said. “That stands out immediately.”
The 2011-2012 school year marked the last for the “adequate yearly progress” system that was required for schools under the federal No Child Left Behind law. Its replacement is the AMO, or annual measurable directives, which will reflect the way schools perform on specific proficiency targets.
“Last year North Carolina received a waiver from the United States Department of Education so that now the state will no longer report Adequate Yearly Progress results,” said Moore County Schools spokesperson Tim Lussier. “Rather than saying that subgroups of the student population have to be at a certain percentage, the schools now have to show a certain amount of proficiency, which is what the AMO will reflect.”
Schools are rated on a seven-level designation system based on their performance on the state’s ABCs tests. These range from the highest, the Honor Schools of Excellence, and are followed by Schools of Excellence, Schools of Distinction, and Schools of Progress. Schools receiving No Recognition and the Priority School designations follow next, with Low Performing Schools as the final category.
Among the county high schools, North Moore rated in the fourth category as a “School of Progress” with expected growth, while Union Pines and Pinecrest each had “No Recognition.” Union Pines met all AMO targets, while North Moore and Pinecrest did not.
The system’s five middle schools had varying results, with most showing average to superior scores. Crain’s Creek and Southern Middle were each designated as a School of Progress with expected growth, while Elise Middle was a School of Progress with high growth. New Century Middle was a School of Distinction with expected growth, and West Pine Middle scored highest as an Honor School of Excellence with high growth.
Elementary schools ranged from West Pine Elementary and Pinehurst Elementary as Honor Schools of Excellence with high growth, and West End Elementary as an Honor School of Excellence with expected growth, to Priority Schools Aberdeen Elementary, Aberdeen Primary and Robbins Elementary.
Five of the 12 elementary schools in the county were designated as Schools of Progress, the middle category in which 60 to 80 percent of students perform at grade level.
With the final ABCs completed, state education officials will next initiate a program titled Ready, designed as a way to measure how prepared students are for college and work. Ready is a component of Career and College Ready, Set, Go.
“Career and College Ready, Set, Go is still an active part of our Race to the Top initiatives and has a broad focus that includes activities from pre-K to higher education,” Lussier said.
The following components define the program’s goals:
n Ready: Increasing the number of students who can read, write and do math by the end of the third grade.
n Set: Increasing the number of students who perform at or above grade level.
n Go: Increasing the number of students taking college credit courses in high school; graduating from high school; going to college; and completing their degree from a community college, college or university.
“Ready is a goal, and our goal is to prepare our students for college, careers and adulthood,” Lussier said. “It’s that simple.”
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction statistics show that in 2011 graduation rates rose to 77.7 percent, the highest four-year graduation rate ever reported in North Carolina, while the number of schools meeting state and federal measures dropped last year from 88 percent in 2009-10 to 81.4 percent.
Contact John Lentz at (910) 693-2479 or jlentz@thepilot. com.
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