HAMLET – The much-anticipated accountability results for North Carolina’s Public Schools were released by the state board of education following its meeting on Sept. 7, 2017.
Once again, Richmond County Schools fared well under the NC READY Accountability Model. For the fifth year in a row, since the implementation of the NC READY Model, Richmond County showed an increase in both proficiency and growth.
The results reported for North Carolina Schools include school performance grades, student achievement and school growth. Student achievement for elementary and middle school performance grades is based on the percent proficient on End-of-Grade and End-of-Course tests. The high school indicators include End-of-Course assessments, the ACT composite score, ACT WorkKeys proficiency, math course rigor and the 4-Year Cohort Graduation rate.
The North Carolina General Assembly requires that each school receive an annual performance grade based on student achievement and growth. For the second consecutive year, Richmond Early College High School earned an “A”. Richmond County Ninth Grade Academy earned a “B”. Ten of the remaining schools received a “C”, and two schools received a “D”. None of the schools in Richmond County received an “F”.
The overall performance composite for Richmond County Schools in 2016-17 is 55.6 percent, compared to 59.2 percent average for the state of North Carolina. Since the 2012-13 school year, RCS has continued to close the gap between Richmond County Schools and North Carolina. In this time frame, the difference between Richmond County Schools and NC has decreased from 11.5 percentage points to 3.6 percentage points.
Another highlight of the 2016-17 accountability results is that RCS ranked first in the Sandhills Region for the percentage of schools meeting or exceeding expected growth. Fourteen out of 15 schools, or 93 percent, met or exceeded expected growth. This compares to the state percentage of 73.7.
“I am so proud of our results as they are a validation of the hard work of our students, staff and families, as well as the great leadership we have in our schools,” said RCS Superintendent Dr. Cindy Goodman. “We led the region and outpaced the state average in percentage of schools making expected or high growth. Although we know that there is a direct correlation between student proficiency and socioeconomics, we have continued to make gains at a greater rate than the state and have closed the gap with the state average to less than four percentage points.”
The overall graduation rate for Richmond County Schools is 76.7 percent, a decline from the previous year of 81.2 percent. The graduation rate for the state of North Carolina is currently 86.5 percent.
The Career Technical Education credentials earned by students this year were also a highlight. The number of credentials increased from 1,295 in the previous school year to 1,819. These credentials include Microsoft PowerPoint and Word, Career Readiness Certifications, and several others.
“We’re proud of the increase in the number of industry recognized credentials that our students earned in the 2016-2017 school year,” noted Sharon Johnson, Director of Career and Technical Education. “Those credential numbers include WorkKeys Certifications that helped Richmond County become a certified, Work Ready Community.”
Richmond County Schools also ranked third in the state on Math I proficiency out of 115 school districts. Math I replaced Algebra I in the N.C. Standard Course of Study and is considered a notable marker for student success. Kelly DeLong, Director of K-12 Math and Science, attributes this success to the hard-working teachers who are focused and dedicated to student achievement.
For more information about accountability measurements and school performance grades, please visit the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction website at www.ncpublicschools.org.