10 Chatham County public schools improve performance grades in 2018-2019 school year

Charter schools make A & Bs; 9Bs and 1 A for public schools, 1 D

BY ZACHARY HORNER, News + Record Staff
Posted 9/4/19

Performance grades for Chatham County's public and public charter schools were released Wednesday morning, and it was good news for most of Chatham's schools.

Ten of the county's 18 scored public …

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10 Chatham County public schools improve performance grades in 2018-2019 school year

Charter schools make A & Bs; 9Bs and 1 A for public schools, 1 D

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Performance grades for Chatham County's public and public charter schools were released Wednesday morning, and it was good news for most of Chatham's schools.

Ten of the county's 18 scored public schools received an A or B, with the Chatham School of Science & Engineering leading the way with an overall score of 87.  Nine schools, including Chatham Central and Northwood High Schools, finished with a B. Six schools received a C, with Chatham Middle School the county's lone D.

The county's three public charter schools all had scores of 74 or better, with Woods Charter at the top with a 90. 

Ten of the public schools improved their grades from the 2017-2018 school year, with Horton Middle School, Virginia Cross Elementary School and the Chatham School of Science & Engineering increasing their respective grade by six points each.

Chatham County Schools Superintendent Derrick Jordan, when speaking to the News + Record for a prior story, discussed how much weight the district puts into performance grades.

“We don’t hyper-analyze, but we have to be interested in it," Jordan said. "Those grades do take into account two important measures, proficiency and growth. As an educator, I’m more focused on the growth piece, because as I’ve said to folks before, the proficiency piece, particularly at a school that has the demographics that generally perform well, if those students aren’t growing, then that’s an issue just as is the case for the students who may not be proficient. That growth piece is extremely important. In as much as we don’t sit and hyper-focus on it, we absolutely have to be concerned about what the results indicate and certainly have the opportunity to dis-aggregate the data and get a sense of what the trends are, where the greatest opportunities for improvement are. I wish the data weren’t so much like an autopsy."

He added that he believed the grades should be 50 percent for proficiency and 50 percent for growth. Currently, overall grades and subject-specific grades are evaluated with proficiency accounting for 80 percent and growth counting for 20 percent.

According to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, nearly 75 percent of the state's public schools met or exceeded growth goals last school year, and the percentage of schools earning As and Bs grew from 35.6 percent in 2017-2018 to 37.3 percent last year.

State Superintendent Mark Johnson credited educators for the improvements.

“Teachers across the state are working hard to ensure that students learn and achieve,” Johnson said. “We are making changes in Raleigh to help our students and teachers – with less time spent on testing and more time for instruction, getting money out of Raleigh and into classrooms where it belongs, and a regional support system better tailored to support schools.”

The News + Record will have more on this story as it develops, but in the meantime, check out our preliminary data from each school, including the county's three graded charter schools.

Guide: The first line is the school's performance score, utilizing a formula that counts proficiency on certain standardized tests as 80 percent and growth rate as 20 percent. The second line is the number score, along with the number score from last year. 

The next two lines differ by type of school.

For public high schools, the next line is the graduation rate for the Class of 2019, compared with the rate for the Class of 2018. For others, if available, the information is scores on standardized math and reading tests taken by 3rd through 8th graders. 

Finally, the last line records if a school met expected growth from the previous year, along with that barometer from last year.

PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS

Chatham Central
B
70 (up from 68 last year)
94% graduation rate (up from 93% last year)
Met growth (did not meet growth last year)

Jordan Matthews
C
65 (up from 62 last year)
86% graduation rate (up from 81% last year)
Exceeded growth (met growth last year)

Northwood
B
77 (same as last year)
91% graduation rate (up from 88% last year)
Met growth (met growth last year)

PUBLIC MIDDLE SCHOOLS

Chatham Middle
D
47 (49 last year)
53 reading, 44 math
Did not meet growth (Did not meet growth last year)

Horton Middle
C
68 (62 last year)
68 reading, 66 math
Met growth (Did not meet growth last year)

Margaret B. Pollard Middle
B
72 (76 last year)
74 reading, 68 math
Did not meet growth (exceeded growth last year)

PUBLIC K-8 SCHOOLS

Bennett
B
72 (76 last year)
75 reading, 67 math
Did not meet growth (Exceeded growth last year)

Bonlee School
C
68 (66 last year)
63 reading, 69 math
Met growth (Did not meet growth last year)

JS Waters
B
70 (71 last year)
65 reading, 73 math
Met growth (met growth last year)

Moncure
C
68 (65 last year)
66 reading, 68 math
Met growth (met growth last year)

Silk Hope
B
71 (71 last year)
68 reading, 73 math
Met growth (met growth last year)

PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

North Chatham
B
72 (71 last year)
68 reading, 70 math
Exceeded growth (exceeded growth last year)

Perry Harrison
B
79 (75 last year)
77 reading, 79 math
Met growth (did not meet growth last year)

Pittsboro
B
70 (71 last year)
64 reading, 76 math
Met growth (met growth last year)

Siler City
C
68 (67 last year)
64 reading, 71 math
Exceeded growth (exceeded growth last year)

Virginia Cross
C
61 (55 last year)
53 reading, 61 math
Exceeded growth (met growth last year)

OTHER PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Chatham School of Science & Engineering
A
87 (81 last year)
Met growth (did report growth last year)

*SAGE Academy did not receive a score, as it is deemed an "alternative school" by the state.

PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS

Chatham Charter
B
78 (81 last year)
72 reading, 72 math
Met growth (exceeded growth last year)

Woods Charter
A
90 (88 last year)
89 reading, 87 math
Met growth (met growth)

Willow Oak Charter
B
74 (69 last year)
Met growth (met growth last year)

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