North Carolina schools posted modest gains on state tests. More schools met or exceeded growth targets and more schools earned A and B performance grades, according to the state’s annual accountability report released Wednesday by the State Board of Education.
The state’s graduation rate was 86.5 percent, which is a slight improvement over last year’s 86.3 percent rate.
“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,” State Superintendent Mark Johnson said.
The percentage of third-graders reading at or above grade level was 56.8 percent for the 2018-19 school year compared to 56.3 percent the previous year.
Meanwhile, 57.2 percent of students in grades 3-8 were proficient in reading. That’s virtually unchanged from the previous year when 57.3 percent of students in grades 3-8 were deemed proficient.
Third grade is a pivotal year for reading because research shows that students who are successful are most likely to graduate from high school.
The number of third-graders proficient in reading is also worth noting because of the large amount of money – more than $150 million — North Carolina has spent on Read to Achieve, the state’s signature education reform initiative created to ensure students demonstrate reading proficiency by third grade.
Critics say the initiative has been a failure.
“Teaching children to read well is a critical goal for their future success, but recent evaluations show that Read to Achieve is ineffective and costly,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a recent statement explaining his decision to veto the legislation aimed at improving Read To Achieve. Read more