New N.C. test results show a growing number of Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools are boosting their student achievement levels.
The latest results of North Carolina's “ABC” school ratings system, released Thursday, showed 77.8 percent of CMS schools met or exceeded student-progress targets in 2007-08. The previous school year, 67.5 percent did.
Thursday's results didn't include reading scores, since those scores haven't been released by the state yet. But Superintendent Peter Gorman said the math results showed strong improvement over the previous year.
“We want our kids to grow at least one year (academically) in one year's time,” he said. “And we've had dramatic growth in math.”
Forty-nine CMS schools met the minimum goal for academic growth, while 74 hit the highest mark. The previous year, 72 achieved the minimum while just 30 reached the highest growth target.
Math students in grades three through eight scored almost a point and a half higher than the state predicted, said Christopher Cobitz, CMS's director of assessment. The progress standards are calculated from end-of-course and end-of-grade test results.
The data suggest some CMS high schools still have work to do. Just six of 22 high schools reached the minimum or highest growth levels. Those high schools included Ardrey Kell, Providence, Butler, South Mecklenburg and Olympic's School of International Business & Communications Studies and its School of International Studies & Global Economics.
“The state has changed the way it calculates high school growth, and that affected our scores,” Gorman said in a statement. “But the fact remains that we have a lot of work to do in improving our high schools.”
The results mean more teachers will receive the bonuses tied to the annual ratings. However, the legislature capped the bonus pool this year. The top award to teachers at schools meeting the highest growth standard will be $1,053, down from as much as $1,500 in years past. The top award to teachers at schools meeting the minimum standard will be $527 – down from $750.
“I know it's a difficult budget year,” Gorman said, “but here we're telling teachers, ‘You've got more pressure on you,' but the rewards are lower. That could be disheartening to some teachers.”