ABCs of Accountability released, county doing well

First Posted: 8/6/2009

With the release of the North Carolina ABCs of Public Education, schools in Surry County have proved to be among the best in the state.
In the Surry County School System, 15 schools met expected growth while 13 also met high growth. In the Mount Airy City School System, all four schools met expected growth. B.H. Tharrington Primary School receives the same status as J.J. Jones Intermediate School for the purposes of testing. Millennium Charter Academy met expected growth.
These calculations are based on the results of the End-of-Grade and End-of-Course tests administered during the 2008-09 school year. These tests including reading and math EOGs in third through eighth grades, science EOGs in fifth and eighth grade and the computer skills test in eighth grade. High school students are tested in 10 state EOC exams, alternative assessments for students with disabilities and the 10th-grade writing test.
In the Surry County School System, all 13 kindergarten through eighth-grade schools had higher performance composites than in the previous year with Flat Rock Elementary, Gentry Middle and Meadowview Middle schools having double digit improvement.
The performance composite in elementary schools is made up of third- through fifth-grade reading and math EOGs and the fifth-grade science EOG. In middle school, the performance composite is made up of sixth- through eighth-grade reading and math EOGs and the eighth-grade science EOG and computer skills test.
Math EOG results improved more than seven percent over last years scores with almost 91 percent of Surry County students testing at the proficient level. Reading EOG results improved more than 12 percent over last years scores with around 75 percent of students testing proficient.
Shoals Elementary School achieved the highest performance composite in the county with 89.6 percent.
North Surry High School was the only high school showing an increase in performance composite over last year. Those students performed one percent higher than last year. East Surry and Surry Central high schools came in around two percent lower and Surry Early College came in six percent lower than last year. The Early College has a unique situation in that students are taking some community college courses but still having to take the state set tests.
Mount Airy City Schools continues to see a positive trend in improving academic achievement, according to Dr. Darrin Hartness, superintendent.
Mount Airy City Schools saw an increase in the percentage of students proficient at each school. Students at B.H. Tharrington (PreK-2) are not tested under the state accountability system and receive the same designations as Jones Intermediate. The preparation students receive at B.H. Tharrington is the foundation for their success in future grades.
The percentage of students proficient at Jones Intermediate increased from 61.8 percent in 2007-08 to 73.5 percent in 2008-09. The percentage of students proficient at Mount Airy Middle School increased from 72.2 percent in 2007-08 to 80.7 percent in 2008-09. The percentage of students proficient at Mount Airy High School increased from 77.7 percent in 2007-08 to 81.1 percent in 2008-09.
ABCs also measures academic growth. In K-8, academic growth is a statistical measure that shows whether or not students improve each year as compared to their own past performances. In high school, academic growth includes academic improvement in Algebra I, biology, civics and economics, English I and U.S. History as well as two graduation factors: the schools dropout rate and the number of students who graduate on more rigorous college-prep diploma tracks.
All 13 K-8 schools in Surry County met the states expected level of growth while 11 of them also met high growth status.
East Surry and Surry Central high schools met the states growth requirement and achieved high growth status. North Surry met both the academic component of the growth factor and the drop-out factor, but fell short on the college-prep diploma rate.
The state also recognizes Schools of Progress and Schools of Distinction each year as well as whether they met high or expected growth.
Seven schools in Surry County will be recognized as Schools of Distinction while eight will be recognized as Schools of Progress.
Two schools in Mount Airy will be recognized as Schools of Progress while the other two will be recognized as Schools of Distinction.
Millennium Charter Academy will be recognized as a School of Progress.
Preliminary Adequate Yearly Progress measures, which is the national measure of student progress, were released in July. All 17 schools in the Surry County School System met AYP. Three of the four schools in Mount Airy met AYP, and Millennium Charter Academy met AYP.
We are extremely pleased with the ABCs and AYP results for our school system, said Dr. Ashley Hinson, superintendent of Surry County Schools. Results remain well above the state average and speak very highly of the dedication and effort put forth by all the students, employees and parents of the Surry County School System.
Were very pleased with the results, said Kirby McCrary, headmaster at Millennium Charter Academy. One of the things we believe is if we have a good, strong curriculum and we teach the children well, the test scores will fall where they should.
The increase in percentage of students proficient and the increase in graduation rate are indicators that our school system is on the right track. We will use these data to set goals for 2009-10 as we focus on individual students academic strengths and areas for improvement. I congratulate our students, their parents and the staff of our school system for their hard work and dedication, Hartness said.
For detailed results, visit The Mount Airy News online at in the Special Sections page called ABC-Accountability.pdf.

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