UCPS releases accountability measures for 2015-16

Math scores increase in several grade levels, graduation rate remains above state average

Monroe, NC—The state of North Carolina and Union County Public Schools released several accountability measures for the 2015-16 school year. Union County Public Schools continues to make gains and outperform the state average in reading and math. In 2016, the district earned its second highest four-year graduation cohort rate of 92.8%. The state’s four-year graduation rate is 85.8 percent.

Two high schools, Central Academy of Technology and Arts and Union County Early College, earned a 100% graduation rate. Eight of the school district’s 12 high schools had a graduation rate of 90% or higher. Schools that scored above 90 percent are Marvin Ridge (99.7), Weddington (99.1), Cuthbertson (97.4), Piedmont (95.8), Parkwood (94.5) and Porter Ridge (93.2).

“The graduation rate results show that there is a commitment to academic achievement in Union County Public Schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan. “Our entire community should applaud our students, teachers, school leaders and parents for staying focused and working hard.”

This is the third year public and charter schools have received a letter grade under the General Assembly’s A-F School Performance Grades legislation. School Performance Grades are based on 80 percent of the school’s achievement score and 20 percent on students’ academic growth.  Fifty schools in UCPS were scored using this model. Five elementary and four high schools earned an A+(ng) distinction. The schools are Antioch, Marvin, New Town, Sandy Ridge and Weddington elementary; Cuthbertson, Piedmont, Union County Early College and Central Academy of Technology and Arts high. Six of these schools earned this distinction for the first time.

Eight schools improved their School Performance Grade. Piedmont High earned a B in 2014-15 and an A+ in 2015-16. Monroe High’s grade rose from a D in 2014-15 to a C in 2015-16. Rock Rest, Sardis and Western Union elementary schools earned a C in 2014-15 and a B in 2015-16. Sandy Ridge Elementary’s grade rose to an A in 2015-16, from a B in 2014-15. Walter Bickett and East elementary schools earned a D in 2015-16, up from a F in 2014-15.

In addition, 44 (88%) received a C or higher, 5 (10%) received a D. UCPS has one school with an F grade. Three schools, Wolfe, Walter Bickett Education Center and South Providence, were not scored because they do not fit the NC Performance Grades model. School grades are provided on a 15-point scale.

“I am very proud of our school leaders, students and teachers,” Houlihan said. “We know that a single letter grade does not tell the entire story about a school. Many of our schools met or exceeded growth and that is an important factor. We now need to take a closer look at our resources, professional development and other tools to help more students grow and excel academically.”

UCPS outperformed the state in several grade levels of End-of-Grade reading and math proficiency. While district scores decreased in third- and fourth-grade reading, third- and fifth-grade math scores increased. Fourth-grade math decreased by 2.2 percentage points, but remains 15 percentage points above the state average. Scores in fifth-grade science rose from 74 percentage points to 77.5.

Scores in middle school math increased in sixth and seventh grade, while eighth-grade math remained steady at 60.5%. Sixth-grade math rose from 67.8% in 2014-15 to 70.3% in 2015-16.

2015-16 READY Accountability Data Highlights:

  • 2016 graduation rate is 92.8%.
  • 8 schools earned A+ (ng) distinction under School Performance Grades Model.
  • 12 schools exceeded growth compared to 15 in 2014-2015.
  • Overall, Grade Level Proficiency dropped 1 percentage point (72.1% in 2015-16 to 71.1% in 2015-16)
  • More students met ACT requirements. 74.5% in 2014-15 compared to 77.1% in 2015-16.
  • While reading and math proficiency levels decreased in some elementary grades, UCPS still out performs the state in third- fifth-grade reading, math and science.
  • High school End-of-course proficiency levels dropped one percentage point in 2015-16.

For additional district and state data, visit www.ncpublicschools.org.

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