Area schools outpacing state scores

By Eva Queen - [email protected]

Surry County Schools and Mount Airy City schools continued to outpace the rest of the state in academic achievement last school year, according to the 2014-15 Performance and Growth of North Carolina Public Schools report recently released by state officials.

The second annual school performance grades were presented to the State Board of Education recently, showing that 72.2 percent of traditional public schools earned grades of C or better, and 70.4 percent of public charter schools received grades of C or better.

In Mount Airy, each school received a grade C or above. In Surry County Schools, 94 percent of the schools received grades of C or better.

The Surry Early College High School of Design was the only school in Surry County to receive the new A+ grade from the state due to high performance, high growth, and low achievement gaps for disadvantaged students.

Across all grade levels (3-8) on the reading, mathematics, and science End-of-Grade assessments, 62.5 percent of Surry County students and 64.9 percent of Mount Airy City students scored at Achievement Level 3 and above compared to 56.3 percent across the state.

Similarly, on the English II, math I, and biology End-of-Course assessments, 59.3 percent of Surry County students and 65.2 Mount Airy City students scored at Achievement Level 3 and above, while proficiencies across the state averaged 57. 9 percent.

The schools are graded on 5 achievement levels, with 1 being the lowest grade and 5 being the highest. Surry County Schools, according to Jeff Tunstall, assistant superintendent the county schools, “did grow, but we did not see that much growth overall.”

In addition to the End-of-Grade and End-of-Course results, Surry County and Mount Airy students showed improved proficiency rates on the ACT, given statewide to all 11th grade students, with Surry County at 67 percent of students scoring 17 or better on the nationwide college ready assessment compared to 59.7 percent of students across the state, Mount Airy stood at 76.9 percent. The ACTs are scored based on college readiness. Reading, math, science and writing are the four components scored. The final score is the average of the four components.

Surry County also reported exceptionally high math rigor rates with greater than 95 percent of graduates having taken “rigorous” math courses while in high school, according to Jeff Tunstall, assistant superintendent.

Several schools across the district in Surry County, in addition to high performance, also had high academic growth. Five schools exceeded the rigorous state academic growth targets, seven schools met the state growth targets, and seven additional schools did not meet annual growth.

“I am so proud of our schools’ efforts to challenge each child and provide a personalized and customized education,” said Travis L. Reeves, superintendent for Surry County Schools. “These improved results indicate that we are preparing our students to be college and career ready. As proud as I am of the results, we realize there is still much work to be done.”

By Eva Queen

[email protected]

Reach Eva Queen at (336) 415-4739 or [email protected]

Reach Eva Queen at (336) 415-4739 or [email protected]

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