Students at 22 schools could be eligible for a new Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools plan to let families move their children out of low-performing schools, based on a state list posted Thursday.
The high-poverty neighborhood schools that landed on North Carolina’s “recurring low-performing” list for 2016 had almost 18,000 students last year. The school board is working on a system that would offer those students priority for magnet seats and possibly other neighborhood schools in 2017-18.
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The goals the board approved in February call for revising student assignment policies to provide “options to students assigned to schools that are not meeting performance standards established by the state,” and members have agreed to use the state’s list to identify such schools. But no specifics of the plan have been locked in.
The board will meet from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday to continue work on revisions to the CMS magnet program, with discussion and a public hearing expected in October and a vote in November.
The new state list represents a significant increase over the 2015 list used in discussion last month. That year CMS had 14 schools on the list, none of them high schools and one of them an alternative school that wouldn’t be involved in assignment changes. Total enrollment was 10,350.
This year two large high schools, Harding and West Mecklenburg, were added. They had a combined enrollment of more than 3,600 students last year. This year’s official count will be taken later this month.
The irony is that the list grew even as CMS saw strong performance on many measures: More students earning college-ready scores, fewer schools graded F, more schools meeting growth goals and graduation rates that have risen steadily for all schools and all groups of students.
North Carolina issues letter grades based on a combination of proficiency on state exams and students’ academic growth, with proficiency accounting for 80 percent. Schools with a D or F are labeled “low performing” unless they exceeded the expected growth.
The recurring list means a school has been rated low performing at least two of the last three years. Huntingtowne Farms and Stoney Creek elementary schools made enough progress this year to shed the “low performing” label but remain on the “recurring” list because of the previous two years’ ratings.
The CMS schools on the 2016 recurring list are:
Elementary: Allenbrook, Billingsville, Greenway Park, Huntingtowne Farms, Newell, Sedgefield, Stoney Creek, Sterling and Tuckaseegee.
Middle: Eastway, Martin, King, McClintock, Northeast and Sedgefield.
High: Harding and West Mecklenburg.
Mixed level: Cochrane, Druid Hills, Bruns, Reid Park, Byers.
Data on test scores, graduation rates and letter grades were released at Thursday’s state Board of Education meeting. They are considered preliminary because districts still have an opportunity to challenge any errors.
Last year’s list included two Mecklenburg County charter schools, but this year’s says charter schools are no longer included.