State test scores for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools showed the district essentially in the same place as it was last year, with overall results essentially remaining flat while college and career ready literacy rates declined.
“I won’t sugarcoat this,” Superintendent Earnest Winston said. “We have some hard work ahead... Here’s our reality. We own this data. I own this data. It is not where we want to be, and it is not where we plan to remain.”
The state Wednesday also released school performance grades, which are calculated from various data including test scores. Seventeen of the 141 schools in CMS received A grades, while seven received F grades. The majority of schools scored in the B and C range — 53 and 55, respectively. A total of 39 schools received a D. The statewide formula for calculating grades bases 80% of the final grade on proficiency, while 20% comes from growth.
The district had previously asked the state legislature to change the grading metric to more heavily emphasize growth as part of the budget negotiations. Proficiency is often linked to socioeconomic factors: Low-poverty schools routinely outperform high-poverty ones, and critics say a formula that overemphasizes proficiency doesn’t fully capture the work schools are doing.
Winston said that while the district is focused on improving outcomes, just looking at a letter grade can only capture so much about a school.
“It’s very difficult to make an accurate assessment by looking solely at a letter grade,” Winston said. “It has its place, but it’s not the end-all be-all. Come into the school, talk to the teachers and administrators, see how they interact with students.”
In CMS, 71.7% of schools met or exceeded their growth expectations. With the exception of reading, CMS outperformed the state average on all end-of-grade and end-of-course tests. A total of 42 schools in CMS were on the state’s low-performing schools list, which includes schools that scored D or F and did not exceed their growth targets.
Statewide, test scores improved slightly despite changes to the standards in math and some districts missing out on weeks of school after Hurricane Florence.
Here is how districts in the area stacked up:
CMS A Schools: Ardrey Kell High, Bailey Middle, Bain Elementary, Cato Middle College High, Community House Middle, Polo Ridge Elementary, Harper Middle College High, Hawk Ridge Elementary, Jay M Robinson Middle, Levine Middle College High, McKee Road Elementary, Piedmont IB Middle, Providence Spring Elementary, Providence High, South Charlotte Middle, Charlotte Engineering Early College-UNCC, Irwin Academic Center
CMS Low-performing Schools: Albemarle Road Middle, Charlotte East Language Academy, J M Alexander Middle, Allenbrook Elementary, Ashley Park PreK-8 School, Cochrane Collegiate Academy, David Cox Road Elementary, Military and Global Leadership Academy, Devonshire Elementary, Marie G Davis, Druid Hills Academy, Eastway Middle, Greenway Park Elementary, Harding University High, Hidden Valley Elementary, Highland Renaissance Academy, Hornets Nest Elementary, Croft Community Elementary, James Martin Middle, Joseph W Grier Academy, Montclaire Elementary, River Oaks Academy, Nations Ford Elementary, Newell Elementary, J H Gunn Elementary, Oakdale Elementary, Bruns Avenue Elementary, Performance Learning Center, Ranson Middle, Renaissance West STEAM Academy, Reid Park Academy, Sedgefield Middle, Starmount Acad of Excellence, Statesville Road Elementary, Sterling Elementary, Tuckaseegee Elementary, University Park Creative Arts, West Charlotte High, Westerly Hills Academy, Wilson STEM Academy, Winterfield Elementary, Vance High
Charter A Schools: Lake Norman Charter, Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy, Community School of Davidson
Charter Low-performing Schools: KIPP Charlotte, Charlotte Choice Charter, Invest Collegiate Transform, Charlotte Learning Academy, VERITAS Community School CFA
Cabarrus County A Schools: Cox Mill High School, Cox Mill Elementary, Harris Road Middle, W R Odell Primary, W R Odell Elementary, Hickory Ridge Middle, Cabarrus-Kannapolis Early College
Cabarrus County Low-performing Schools: Concord Middle, Royal Oaks Elementary, Rocky River Elementary, Winecoff Elementary
Charter Low-performing Schools: Cabarrus Charter Academy, A.C.E. Academy, Concord Lake STEAM Academy
Gaston County A Schools: Gaston Early College High School, Highland Sch of Technology
Gaston County Low-performing Schools: Bessemer City Central Elem, Bessemer City High, Brookside Elementary, Edward D Sadler Jr Elementary School, W P Grier Middle School, Lingerfeldt Elementary, Pleasant Ridge Elementary, Sherwood Elementary, H H Beam Elementary, Woodhill Elementary, York Chester Middle
Lincoln County A Schools: Rock Springs Elementary
Lincoln County Low-Performing Schools: Battleground Elementary
Union County A Schools: Antioch Elementary, Rea View Elementary, New Town Elementary, Cuthbertson Middle, Cuthbertson High, Kensington Elementary, Marvin Elementary, Sandy Ridge Elementary, Central Academy of Technology and Arts, Union County Early College, Unionville Elementary, Weddington Elementary, Weddington High, Weddington Middle, Wesley Chapel Elementary, Marvin Ridge Middle, Marvin Ridge High
Union County Low-performing Schools: East Union Middle, Monroe Middle, Wingate Elementary