The graduation rate in North Carolina improved last year, according to the latest public school performance data released Thursday. The rate has steadily improved over the past 11 years, and there has also been a boost in school grades across the state.
These figures come from the State Department of Public Instruction, and the findings were presented to the North Carolina State Board of Education. The statistics are based on graduation rate, ACT performance, ACT WorkKeys performance, high school math course rigor, and graduation projects, according to Fox Wilmington.
From 2014 to 2015, the state’s graduation rate increased to 85.8 percent. In contrast, this number was 68.3 percent in 2005-06. The four-year graduation rate for black students jumped slightly by 0.7 points, to 82.9 percent. As for the rate for students from low-income families, it increased by one percentage point to reach 80.6 percent last in 2014-15. The result for white students and the state overall was 0.3 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to a report by WRAL.com.
“Everything’s going in the right direction, that’s the key part,” says Dr. Ethan Lenker, Pitt County School’s superintendent, as quoted by WITN.com. “Now, does that mean everything’s perfect? Obviously not. Obviously, there are things for us to work on, but as a whole, we see things going in the right direction. That’s kind of what we want to make sure we continue that direction.”
In Pitt County, officials informed that the rate of students who complete high school within four years increased from 80 percent to 83 percent. As for grade level proficiency, it jumped about 2 percent, as reported by Witn.com. However, this county remains below the average (85.6 percent) as its district has only one A school. For its part, Greene County scored the highest rate with 86.5.
New Hanover County Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley expressed he was encouraged by the progress his colleagues were making, a clear reflection of the hard work of teachers and principals throughout the district. He said he was also thankful for the support he has received from the Board of Education, according to Fox Wilmington.
More students are getting better at reading and math
The findings also show that students’ proficiency in reading and mathematics improved last school year when compared to 2014-15, which indicates that they are better prepared for college careers. About 35.4 percent of students are proficient in both subjects. This percentage was 33.8 in the previous school year. Regarding math only, the rate increased from 44.1 percent to 47 percent and the increase in reading proficiency was rather less significant as it rose from 45.1 percent to 45.8 percent last school year.
These statistics show the fourth year the state has assigned letter grades A-F to its public schools, according to a report by Reflector.com. The numbers are based 80 percent on standardized test scores while 20 percent is based on academic growth, a formula some educational experts across the state do not agree with as they believe it should be changed to 50/50.